How Clean Air Ducts Affect Your Children’s Health
Every day, around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion children) inhale air that is so polluted that it puts their health and development at serious risk. (source)
Yes, this is a scary statistic. However, fortunately, there is something you and I can do to help our children breathe better. In our previous article, Health Ailments that can be Avoided by Improving the IAQ at Home, we covered ways to combat indoor air pollution. When people think of air pollution, they think of the outdoors, but it is not just an external issue. The air inside our homes can be just as polluted because of gas stoves, household cleaning products, new furniture, etc., that emit pollutants into the air inside our homes. Unfortunately, most people don't give a second thought to sources like these.
In every reliably constructed home, structures called air ducts constantly circulate air; this often clogs them up with dust and pollutants. If not regularly cleaned, air ducts can potentially circulate polluted air back into your home. This is why regular cleaning and maintaining air ducts is essential to improve air quality indoors and eliminate any adverse effect pollutants can have on your children's health.
The Effects of Clean Air Ducts
1. Lower respiratory illnesses
Indoor air pollution can cause respiratory illnesses like asthma and sinusitis or trigger diseases in children who already have respiratory ailments. Pollutants like dust are especially harmful to children with any respiratory illness. Air ducts are most susceptible to accumulating larger particulates like dust. Cleaning air ducts regularly will ensure no harmful pollutants are circulated back into your home and help your children breathe better.
2. Lower sensitivity to pet dander
Children can be sensitive and allergic to pet dander - flakes of skin that a pet sheds. Just like with dust, ventilation systems are often powerful enough to eliminate pet dander from the air. Over time, however, it could accumulate in the air ducts and then become a cause for allergies and sensitivity in children or adults. Cleaning air ducts regularly will lower and could also eliminate pet allergies.
3. Lower fatigue
Indoor air pollution creates a heavy, stuffy atmosphere inside your home. Sometimes the effect is subtle - you don't feel the air being stuffy, but it is adding a strain (maybe not noticeable) on your breathing. This eventually leads to fatigue. People attribute fatigue to many factors but don't consider indoor air pollution to be a cause. If you find yourself getting tired quickly indoors, you could have pollutants in the air. Clean air ducts help improve the quality of air indoors and reduce fatigue caused by pollution.
4. Improve the overall quality of living
We often overlook the importance of clean air. Indoor air pollution does not just cause severe ailments like asthma. It also has more minor short term effects like eye, nose and throat irritation, causes cold, damages books and furniture, etc., and it's minor reactions like these that create discomfort in our own homes. Ensuring proper air ventilation through clean air ducts will significantly improve comfort within your home.
The importance of regularly cleaning and maintaining air ducts should be apparent. Getting a professional to assess the condition of the air ducts in the ventilation system at home will give you a sense of how often you should be doing it. Regular cleaning will also extend the life of the ducts and the ventilation system saving you repair and replacement costs. But most of all, clean air ducts will improve the quality of living at home and the health of your children.