The air quality of your baby’s room is very important. Studies have found that the first air your infant receives is in the womb. This means that the expectant mother has to be mindful of the air she is breathing in, too. The same studies show that the physical environment has an impact on a child’s development. Therefore, it should be the best air from the womb through the childhood years.
Here are some ways you can keep the air quality of your baby’s room clean every season.
Install an Air Purifier
The most common way to improve and maintain the air quality in your baby’s room is to install an air purifier. Many parents place air purifiers on their baby registry, so there are several who are in the know. Let’s dig a little further into why air purifiers are in such demand.
An air purifier removes allergens from the air. While it does not trap 100% of them, it does trap a majority. The purifier can capture:
- Volatile organic compounds
- Pet dander
- Spores that create mold
Your baby’s immune system, vital organs, and even the brain are still developing from birth to well past the toddler years. Babies who receive questionable air in the womb are more likely to be born prematurely, have a low birth weight, or be born with conditions such as asthma. If your child is prone to breathing issues or something else, allergens in the air can easily trigger respiratory issues. The cleaner you can keep your child’s air, the less likely they will be to suffer from something like asthma. It could be the difference between them developing it, for example, or not.
The type of allergens that are commonly found in the air varies by season. Winter sees the least number of allergens, while spring tends to have the most. February begins to see the start of the bloom season. Some point the finger at flowers, but it turns out that trees are the most common reason for seasonal allergies. They release pollen into the air. In your baby’s room, therefore, beginning in February, you have to mindful of the increase in pollen outdoors, which will most likely find its way indoors, too.
Allergens also vary by region. The southwest has a drier climate, while the northeast experiences the four seasons to the fullest. The steps you take to improve the air quality in your baby’s room should take that into consideration, too.
Ventilate the Room
Research has found that opening at least one window in a baby’s room consistently reduces the possibility of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, by about 39%. The percentage goes in the other direction when a baby is kept in a room with closed windows all the time. It may sound like a catch-22 when it comes to opening a window to ventilate your baby’s room. You have to do it for your infant’s health, but if you do, you are letting in allergens. So, it becomes a balancing act.
If your baby’s room has a vent, you are advised to not put the crib next to it. In order for this room to receive clean air, you have to ensure that your HVAC system receives proper maintenance at least once a year. If your home has vents, it means that the HVAC is hooked up to ductwork. That ductwork gathers dust. If the ducts are not cleaned, the first thing that happens when you turn on the system is dust gets spread throughout your home, including your baby’s room.
The summer months see an uptick in pollen, mold, and insects stings. The best way to combat pollen is to properly ventilate the room. For mold, the humidity has to be controlled. When it comes to bug bites, you might consider installing screens on the windows.
Let’s talk more about humidity.
Manage the Humidity
Indoor humidity is caused by several activities such as cooking, taking a shower, and washing the dishes. Even sweating and breathing can cause indoor humidity. To control humidity levels in your baby’s room, there are several steps you can take. These include:
- Installing vents in the kitchen and bathroom
- Utilizing a dehumidifier
- Sealing leaks in the ductwork
- Covering dirt floors, especially in crawl spaces
- Placing moisture-absorbing plants in your home
Humidity is caused by water droplets that are turned into condensation. It is water vapor that is floating in the air. When humidity reaches 100%, it rains. The more humidity that is found indoors, the more likely mold will develop inside. While everyone is not allergic to mold, everybody can experience at least one symptom when its presence is significant enough. Moisture in the air will put itself into a person’s lungs. Those who are predisposed to respiratory issues may experience asthma. Since your baby’s lungs are still developing, humidity can trigger asthma at a very early age. This is not ideal, of course.
In the fall, the most common allergen is ragweed. Studies have found that those who are allergic to spring plants will also be allergic to ragweed. Ragweed begins with the release of pollen during cool evenings and warm days as early as August. The allergen can stick around until October.
Monitor the Air Quality
One way to gain peace of mind is to monitor the indoor air quality of your baby’s room. This is a difficult task since you cannot see the allergens floating around the space. On sunny days, you can spot the dust particles floating around, but they are not visible year-round. One way to monitor the air quality is to invest in hardware designed for this purpose. You should already have a smoke detector installed in the room. You can replace it with a detector that also monitors the carbon monoxide, or you can add a standalone. Either way, it is one more way to monitor air quality.
The information an air quality monitor gives you is the level of dust, allergens, and chemical pollutants as well as humidity in a space. It does not give you specific information about mold, however. If there is enough humidity, you can determine that there might be mold present, too.
Allergies in the winter are not as common. Individuals who are more sensitive may experience issues due to an increase in house dust mites, animal dander, and cockroach droppings. The reason why this occurs is due to less fresh air since the windows and doors of a home are more likely to be closed regularly. Ensuring there is sufficient ventilation is recommended during these months.
Keep in mind that you do not have to go through this process alone. Professionals in your area, like those at 4 Seasons Heating & Air, are readily available to assess the situation. Then, we can offer viable solutions that make everyone in your home comfortable and deliver peace of mind. Basic solutions can be offered to get you started. Your indoor environment can even be assessed before your baby arrives home.
For more information about keeping the best quality indoor air in your baby’s room in Alpharetta, GA, contact us at 4 Seasons Heating & Air today. Our experienced technicians can also offer heating and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance.