Another note. Yes, another note about the diseases 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 reported that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the US. So how do you help ensure your family is 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, dry eyes, and fatigue. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases 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 drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification systems, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? 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 mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant consequences. You filter your words for harmony, 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 get for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be immediately 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 many other options to help clean your home’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? 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 machines can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from building up in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of 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 systems do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I want one instead of 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. 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, helping with sickess, itchy 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 forget your ducts during this time of renewal. Since a great amount of our in-home air arrives 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 service tech to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children 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 heating and air systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are lingering inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every 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 guidance to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s troubling to know that your kids 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 keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.