Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So what do 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. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or worsened by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS said that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your loved ones aren’t breathing contaminated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable outcomes. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’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 someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to illness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are several other options to help clean your family’s air. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying devices can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from building up 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 unit will help clean 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 install one over 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. Insufficient humidity can cause dry skin, sinus illness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, cracked skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since the majority of our in-home air comes 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 technician to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones healthy.
With the challenge to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our hvac systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a lower amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every 60 minutes, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, inquire about a complete indoor air quality report from your A/C contractor. An expert air conditioning company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional recommendations to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your kids are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message 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.