Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So what do you do to help ensure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can result in lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or compounded 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 severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette 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, sickness-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 you may regret ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome outcomes. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Numerous hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to illness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a regular 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 standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
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 devices can kill germs and even help stop further germs from accumulating in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light unit will help sanitize and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do literally 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. Not enough humidity can cause cracked skin, sinus sickness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, cracked skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician to check for duct leaks, also. 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 loved ones healthy.
With the move to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated carefully and completely to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a great 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 lingering inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. 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 every 60 minutes, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next air conditioning tune-up, request a complete indoor air quality report from your HVAC contractor. An expert AC 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 troubling to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.