I always worry about the health of my children, but especially so during the winter months when germs spread easily and we spend more time indoors. You are probably already aware of this, but the cleanliness of your home plays a role in the health of your children. Indoor air quality (IAQ) directly impacts your kids. Here’s a guide on keeping your kids healthy with indoor air.
The Risks of Poor Indoor Air Quality
As the cold air and snow come our way, your children will likely spend most of their time indoors. Most of the air they will breathe is what your HVAC unit circulates through the house. Did you know that air pollution is one of the quiet killers in society today? According to the World Health Organization, more than 8.2 million people die from it each year.
Children are particularly vulnerable. Children’s lungs don’t reach full maturity until they are teens. Their weaker lungs don’t protect them quite as well against air pollution as adults. Some risks include illnesses that present symptoms like basic colds and flu. You’ll know these cold-like and respiratory symptoms are actually allergies, when the symptoms clear up when you leave your home. Cold and flu symptoms will stay with you no matter where you go.
Improve the Air You Breathe
It’s important to take steps to improve the indoor air quality in your home. The first step is to hire an HVAC repair service to work on your current unit. You will want a professional to check the current IAQ and you should also ask this worker to offer suggestions about other ways to improve your indoor air quality.
Changing your air filters is a strong first step. You should also ask the person doing the repair to recommend a new air filter. You want an air filter with a high MERV rating. Air filters with higher ratings trap more dust and allergens which allow fewer particles to get past the filter. This will allow your HVAC unit to circulate cleaner air for your family to breathe. Luckily, air filters are pretty inexpensive so you can improve your indoor air quality with just a few dollars. My husband actually has air filters mailed to our home every month which makes it super convenient!
Add an Air Purifier
In recent years, whole-home air cleaners have grown in popularity. This is because these air purifiers are green-friendly ways to improve the environment as well as your indoor air. You can easily add one to your HVAC filtration system. Manufacturers have retrofits for most major HVAC brands. If the current unit cannot add an air purifier, this may be a time to consider a new installation since the unit is outdated and won’t provide the best air quality for your home.
The strongest air cleaners look like vents. A maintenance worker will add the vent in the ceiling or a wall then air will then pass through this installation. When it does, the vent will trap any allergens or dust particles and keep your air clean.
Keep Your Home Clean
No matter how hard we try, allergens and dust mites are everywhere in our home. To protect your family from these allergens, you also need to make sure your home is cleaned often. Dusting and vacuuming regularly will reduce the volume of dust mites in the air. When you vacuum, you suck them out of the carpet, along with other things such as pet dander. This will help your children breathe easier.
I hope these tips will help keep your kids stay healthier this winter and that your better indoor air quality benefits everyone in your home. We can all breathe a little easier (literally) when we have clean vents and a clean home.
This is a guest post which includes some of my own commentary.