Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the United States. So what do you do to help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or worsened by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS reported that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification devises, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this info – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been livid and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something you may regret ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Many hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy for your home if you have someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are several other options to help clean your family’s air. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying contraptions can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from accruing in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light unit will help sanitize and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one over the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can cause itchy skin, sinus sickness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with illness, cracked skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since most of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones healthy.
With the move to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a decreased amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, request a complete indoor air quality report from your HVAC contractor. An expert heating and cooling company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional guidance to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.