Top Tips for ‘Baby Proofing’ Your Indoor Air

MADISON, WI, Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — For new parents, ensuring a house is safe is a top priority. Outlets are covered, gates are installed near stairs – any visible hazard is addressed. Unfortunately, not all dangers can be seen with the naked eye. One invisible threat to babies and even adults is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and it shouldn’t be dismissed when baby proofing your home. IAQ refers to multiple aspects of the air inside a home, including:

  • Relative Humidity (RH) – Indoor RH is the level of moisture in the air inside the home. Too much can aggravate asthma and encourage the growth of mold. Too little humidity dries out skin and eyes, can cause bloody noses and even increase the risk of getting the flu.
  • Stale Air – Especially in newer homes, air becomes stale as circulation is reduced from increased insulation, fewer drafts and better windows. While good for energy efficiency, tight homes also trap potentially dangerous concentrations of VOCs and other harmful contaminants.
  • Air Purity – Dust mites, pollen and pet dander can also invade homes. Particulates travel around the home in the air and through the duct system; aggravating allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions.

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Protect Babies against Poor IAQ

According to the US EPA, children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of contaminated air because they breathe in more oxygen relative to their body weight. Many children in the Bronx and New York City suffer from allergies and asthma due to poor indoor/outdoor air quality.

Baby proofing a home is a good time to consider ways to improve IAQ. There are many available products that improve all aspects of indoor air for children and adults.

  • Humidifiers – Add moisture to the air when the furnace runs. In winter, indoor RH can plummet and a whole-house humidifier is recommended for most homes located in regions with cold or dry winter climates.
  • Dehumidifiers – Remove excess moisture from the air when humidity levels rise in the summer. While humidity often enters through the basement or crawlspace, levels will rise throughout the house. Whole-house dehumidifiers lower RH in every room.
  • Air Purifiers – Trap many different types of particulates – even bacteria and viruses. Whole-home air purifiers replace traditional furnace filters which cannot capture smaller particulates.
  • Ventilators – Bringing in outside air reduces odors and concentrations of VOCs. Aprilaire products have controlled ventilation, which brings in air when it is most energy efficient based on temperature.

One of the best ways to protect a baby from poor IAQ is with whole-home solutions for ventilation, humidification and air purity. Whole-home solutions are attached to existing HVAC systems, so they require very little attention or maintenance. They also improve the air throughout the home, instead of in just one room, keeping baby safe no matter where he or she is exploring.

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