Fight Sickness & Stay Healthy with These Indoor Air Quality Tips
Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading 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 little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So how do you help keep your family 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 tiredness. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, cigarette smoke, etc)
- Poor ventilation
So all this information – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing adulterated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, we 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 dispenser 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 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 a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
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 basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting 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 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 decontaminate 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 choose one rather than the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right 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 destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this refreshing time. Since most of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, 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 circulate throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family healthy.
With the shift to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated carefully and completely 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 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 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 every 60 minutes, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, ask for 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 recommendations to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.