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Do You Have Children With Asthma? 2 Key Ways Your HVAC System Protects Them

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2010 report, 1 in 11 American children have asthma, a disease that kills around 9 people each day in the U.S., results in nearly 11 million missed school days, and costs parents around $1,000 per year in hospital and treatment costs.

As the parent of a child with asthma, you know how devastating the illness can be, and you’ll do everything in your power to mitigate your child’s symptoms and help them live a healthy life. Luckily, your home has something that can help keep your asthmatic children healthy: your home’s HVAC system.

If you’re not sure how your air conditioner and furnace can help protect your children, read on. We’ll explore why your HVAC system is so crucial to your child’s health and what you can do to ensure your unit does its part to make your home safe for your child.

1. Your HVAC Unit Filters the Air

The most important way your HVAC unit protects your air quality is by filtering the air it circulates through the home. If you have asthmatic children in the home, you should change the filters at least once a month. You can also get more out of your filters by:

  • Upgrading to a High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter, or a pleated filter with the MERV value between 7-11, that removes the maximum amount of particles from the air.
  • Adding a whole-home filtration system to your HVAC unit that filters the air even more effectively.
  • Installing a whole-home dehumidifier that lowers the risk of asthma-triggering mold growth. In some extreme cases there are homes that have such high levels of humidity the standard HVAC equipment may not be able to resolve the issue alone.
  • Installing a whole-home humidifier to ensure proper humidity levels in heating season. Although we just mentioned removing humidity from your home, during the heating season most homes in Lincoln, NE become overly dry. Adding humidity to your home in these times benefits your family’s health.
  • Switching from the built-in filtration system to a secondary system that introduces more thorough filtration.

UV lights are a form of filtration that can kill microbes and mold. An HVAC professional can install UV lights in your ductwork to kill biotic pollutants before they circulate through the system. Since they only target microbes, UV lights should always be combined with other forms of filtration that remove dust, dirt, and other allergens.

 

Air scrubbers will also improve the air quality in your home. Many combine the benefits of UV lights with the benefits of ionization or particle gathering. An air scrubber enhances the effectiveness of your furnace filter by causing dust and dander to clump together, increasing the chances they are caught your filter. Air scrubbers have also shown in scientific studies to provide surface cleaning qualities, just one more way they are improving the health of your family.

 2. Your HVAC Unit Can Circulate Fresh Air

If you rarely open your home’s windows, then your HVAC unit has no choice but to recycle air. Since the unit filters the air, you shouldn’t have too many problems, but if you paint a room, renovate, fail to vacuum, or accidentally introduce any asthma-attack triggers, you could have a problem on your hands.

On the other hand, introducing clean, fresh air into your HVAC lets the unit cycle healthier air through the home.

Give your HVAC unit a boost and help your children breathe better air by opening the windows every once in a while. You should always check local allergen reports and keep the windows and doors tightly shut on bad air quality days, but on a clear day with a low pollen count, the open window can serve as a breath of fresh air for your asthmatic children. Always open the windows when you’re performing renovations, painting rooms, or adding new furniture with chemicals like wood varnish that can cycle through the home’s HVAC system.

If your family is highly sensitive to outdoor allergens you may not be to open your home’s windows to bring in fresh air. In those cases an ERV, or energy recovery ventilation, maybe a great solution. This provide fresh outdoor air into your home, but it is first conditioned, meaning it is either heated or cooling depending on the season. The fresh air is brought into your home’s HVAC return meaning the air will pass through your furnace filter, with a high quality filter those allergens will be captured before they can be circulated through your home.

For More Help, Call an HVAC Professional

You can only do so much to ensure your HVAC system keeps your children safe. If you need a repair, replacement, or consultation on further upgrades, reach out to the experts. Your local HVAC Company can evaluate your current system to ensure it’s working efficiently and effectively, and install any updates.

Whether you have a child with asthma in the house or you’re simply looking for an HVAC upgrade, replacement or repair, Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing is here to help. Contact us online anytime to schedule a visit.