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Seasoned parents are familiar with the common trend of illnesses cropping up just as kids head back to school. Healthcare providers see the trend as well, with an uptick in sick children, particularly those with respiratory viruses this time of year. That’s hard for parents who have to miss work or make other arrangements to take care of little ones who need some TLC. Keep the back-to-school bug at bay and prevent sick days with smart strategies for keeping your Plano, Texas, home as healthy as possible this fall.

Maintain Your Home Systems

Make sure your HVAC system is up to the task of battling autumn allergens and back-to-school viruses. If you haven’t addressed regular maintenance on your system in the last 12 months, you’re overdue for a tune-up. You should schedule a routine maintenance visit at least once a year. This serves several essential purposes. It improves energy efficiency, reduces the need for repairs, and extends the life of your system.

Scheduling your regular maintenance visit also helps keep airborne irritants under control. During your tune-up, our HVAC technicians thoroughly clean the system to help keep dust, dirt, and other contaminants at bay.

Stock Up on Soap and Sanitizer

Frequently washing hands greatly reduces the risk of spreading germs. According to the CDC, hand washing helps prevent the spread of respiratory infections, skin infections, eye infections, and diarrhea. Encourage everyone in the family to wash their hands regularly. It’s especially important to wash hands after using the restroom and before meals or snacks.

Stock up on hand soap so you have a bottle at every sink and spares for when these run out. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an effective alternative. Though a 2009 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases indicated that soap and water is better against the H1N1 influenza virus, it showed strong results with hand sanitizer as well. Keep a bottle in the car, in your purse, and in backpacks for easy access.

Keep Your Air Clean

You can’t see the airborne allergens, bacteria, and viruses in your home, but they play a big role in spreading those pervasive colds and flu that run rampant at the beginning of the school year. You can help keep your air fresher by installing an air cleaner like Trane CleanEffects in your HVAC system. This component removes up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles.

You can also help improve your home’s air by marking your calendar for regular filter changes. You should change the filter in your HVAC system at least every three months. Check on it every month and change it sooner if you can see a visible buildup of dust and dirt.

Work to Handle Humidity

Dry air exacerbates many symptoms associated with back-to-school bugs. Any respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing are worse with dry air. If there isn’t enough humidity in the air, sinuses dry out and become more uncomfortable. Lack of humidity can also cause dry skin, cracked lips, and bloody noses.

A humidifier increases the moisture in the air to help ease symptoms associated with colds and other bugs. A whole-home system like the THUMD Power Humidifier adds moisture to the air throughout your entire home. You should be careful to moderate your humidity levels and make sure they don’t get too high. While proper humidity makes your home more comfortable, humidity levels that are too high can lead to an uncomfortable environment.

Personalize Drinks and Snacks

Sharing drinks and snacks is a prime way to share illnesses. Give each child his/her own labeled water bottle to minimize the sharing of beverages and encourage hydration. Dish up snacks in single-serving containers so children aren’t sharing a family size bag. Don’t leave food or drinks sitting out for others to share. Clean up promptly when you’re finished so it’s easier to keep things separate.

If you need help improving indoor air quality in your home, contact Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning at 469-606-9260. We’ll help you assess the best ways to keep your home’s air clean, healthy, and breathable all season.

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