Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Influenza. RSV. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the US. So what do you do to help make sure 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. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or compounded 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 serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your family aren’t breathing contaminated, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying consequences. You filter your words for amity, 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 get for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are multiple other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help decide 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 giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying contraptions can kill germs and even assist 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 device 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 machines do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one instead of 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 result in dry skin, sinus sickness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to eliminate 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 refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s vital 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 additional 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 family safe.
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 heating and cooling systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a great 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 lingering inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually 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 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 recommendations to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.