Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC said that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So what can you do to help make sure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or intensified by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS noted 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 leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, poorly maintained or unclean 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 family aren’t breathing sullied, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Several 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 extremely susceptible to illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
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 determine which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying systems can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from collecting in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light system 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 machines do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I install 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. Not enough humidity can lead to itchy 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 perfect amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, itchy skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this refreshing time. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the service tech to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and move around 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 hvac systems work to keep our home pleasant. 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 lingering inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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 air conditioning 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 guidance to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.