Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the USA. So what can you do to help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can lead to lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nausea, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or aggravated 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing sullied, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately relieved? 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 shouldn’t you filter your air?
Many hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can invest in for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to sickness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are multiple other options to help clean your family’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-huh? Germicidal UV Light Systems help remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying devices can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from accumulating in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their air systems. A UV light device will help purify and disinfect indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I want one rather than the other? For home comfort, it’s recommended to have the humidity levels between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can result in cracked skin, sinus illness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your air, helping with disease, cracked skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since most of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children safe.
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 good thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next Precision 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 suggestions to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your kids are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.