If you have babies and children at home, you should especially be aware of your home’s Indoor Air Quality. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), which refers to the air quality within and around your home as it relates to health and comfort, is critical to your overall wellness. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that children and babies are more susceptible to the effects of contaminated air because they breathe in more oxygen relative to their body weight than adults.
You might be negatively impacting your home’s IAQ without even realizing it. Some of the most common air pollutants in the home include:
- Toxic materials such as lead, pesticides, and asbestos
- Biological pollutants such as mold and mildew
- Natural contaminants such as pet dander and radon
- Combustion byproducts such as tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide
Luckily, you can take steps to improve your home’s IAQ and help safeguard your children’s health. Here are some ways to reduce harmful pollutants and improve the air inside your home.
Keep a Clean House
A clean house is often a healthier house. By regularly cleaning, you can get rid of the pet dander, dust, and mold that lurks in your home. When babies are napping or kids are at school, take some time to tidy up, including clearing clutter and washing your family’s bedding. To improve the air quality inside your home, you should also vacuum carpets and rugs at least once a week with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter.
Get a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat, such as the iComfort® S30 ultra-smart thermostat, can give you some peace of mind by monitoring your home’s humidity levels and air-purification-system filters. It’ll let you know when your filter needs to be changed, which allows you to avoid the bacteria that often comes from not changing a filter regularly enough.
Place More Plants Around Your Home
Indoor plants aren’t just home decorative elements—they can also help improve IAQ in a cost-effective and sustainable way, according to ScienceDaily. If you have babies and children at home, consider placing a few potted plants around the house. Plants improve IAQ by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. They also passively absorb pollutants and increase humidity by transpiring water vapor through leaf pores.
Let the Fresh Air In
To improve the air quality inside your home, open up doors and windows to ventilate the air. This is especially important if you’re painting, cleaning, or doing other activities that create a high level of pollutants in the air. When you air out your home as the weather allows, you can bring some fresh air into your home and dramatically improve your home’s air quality.
If the climate or weather doesn’t give you many opportunities to open doors or windows, consider the PureAir™ S or other ventilation products from Lennox to deliver fresh air. The PureAir™ S tackles the three major types of indoor air contaminants—airborne particles, chemical odors and vapors, and germs and bacteria—allowing you and your family to breathe easier.
Better IAQ is Within Reach
While you can’t eliminate all allergens and pollutants in your home, you can use the tips above to significantly improve your home’s IAQ. Even a small effort can mean a big difference when it comes to your children’s overall well-being. Contact J.O. Mory to learn more about the products that are best for your family.
Fortunately, the old adage is true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you protect your family from the flu this winter:
Wash your hands, surfaces and even cleaning supplies.
Often. Just 15-20 seconds of hand washing with soap and warm water—or alcohol-based rub—can help protect you from germs. Since human influenza viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, kitchen and bath fixtures should also be scrubbed down regularly. Sterilize cellulose sponges in the dishwasher.
Down your vitamin C.
Good sources include citrus fruit, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, nuts and kiwi. Supplements can also help shorten the duration of the virus following its onset.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Proper hydration is essential to a strong immune system and overall health. Water and herbal or flavored teas are the best choice. Avoid alcohol, which may decrease your resistance to viruses.
Practice good health daily.
Exercise, manage stress, eat healthy food and get plenty of rest.
Cover your mouth and nose when you cough.
But be sure to use a tissue; touching your eyes, nose and mouth can help germs spread.
Smoking cigarettes is a major risk factor for influenza, due to structural changes that can occur in the respiratory tract and a decreased immune response.
Clear the air.
Use an air cleaner or filtration system to capture bacteria and other small particles. A humidifier can also help your family breathe a little easier while reducing the incidence of sore throats and respiratory problems.
Play “keep away.”
Avoid crowds wherever possible. Put about six feet of distance between yourself and others as much as possible to avoid contracting the virus. Similarly, if you happen to come down with the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks to avoid spreading the illness.
Last, but not least—schedule a flu shot! The vaccine, available by shot or nasal spray, is recommended for everyone six months of age or older. It protects against infection and illness caused by the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be the most common during the coming season. While the vaccine can prevent the flu altogether, it also helps lesson the severity of the illness in the event onset occurs.