Nurseries should be healthy, temperature-controlled environments that are not allowed to become stagnant, too cold or too hot. Just like the rest of your home, children's nurseries are self-contained macrocosms filled with dander, dust, pollen, dust mites, mold spores and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emanate from exterior pollutants. Younger children are more vulnerable physiologically to sustained temperature extremes and poor air quality since their physiological systems have not matured enough to develop resistance against airborne allergens and pathogens .
Poor air quality, coupled with unstable temperatures in the nursery, could cause children to suffer from the following health problems:
Sore or scratchy throats
Stuffy nose/bleeding nose
Frequent sneezing and/or coughing
Watery, itchy eyes
Excessive fatigue (nighttime sleep interrupted by symptoms)
Since these symptoms are indicative of a cold or seasonal allergy, parents may treat their children with over-the-counter medication or obtain a prescription from their pediatrician. Unfortunately, these treatments only provide temporary relief since the cause is poor air quality and temperature instability and not a bacterial or viral infection.
Effects of Overheated Nurseries on Children
Children sleeping or playing in stuffy, overly warm nurseries experience physiological stress as their bodies attempt to regulate internal temperature. Called "homeostasis", this process causes the heart to beat faster, stimulates sweat glands and increases respiratory rates.
Comfort level of a nursery also affects the quality of sleep children get, especially how long they spend in REM sleep. This sleep stage is essential to optimal brain functioning and for allowing the body to produce growth hormones during sleep. However, nurseries that are too warm may interrupt the natural progression of sleep stages as the child's body engages in homeostasis processes which prevents the child from sleeping deeply and restfully.
In addition, overly warm nurseries often experience higher humidity levels as well. High humidity not only encourages growth of mold and mildew, wood floor warping and peeling paint/wallpaper in a nursery but, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, also has detrimental effects on health due to:
Increasing incidences of allergies and respiratory infections
Promoting spread of infectious viruses and bacteria
Contributing to indoor populations of dust mites and allergenic mites
Worsening existing medical conditions such as asthma or bronchitis
Air conditioning is the best way to improve indoor air quality and keep temperature regulated at optimal levels. Cooled air not only removes pollutants and allergens from a nursery but also reduces moisture/humidity levels that encourage mold growth and aggravate a child's underdeveloped respiratory system.
Electric fans or ceiling fans do not offer the advantages a portable air condition unit offers to creating the ideal environment in a nursery. Fans do little more than move air around and do nothing to reduce the temperature or humidity. In addition, fan blades must be cleaned frequently or debris and debris covering the fans are released into the room when blades are rotating.
Allowing high humidity levels to exist in a nursery or any other room in your home invites rapid growth of mildew, mold and bacteria that thrive on warmth and moisture. Insects flourish in these conditions as well and contribute to health problems, home damage and possibly an infestation requiring the services of a pest control company.
The dehumidifying ability of a portable air conditioner works to eliminate excess moisture from the atmosphere by pulling humid air over cooled coils enhanced by fans that blow drier, cooler air into the home. When air temperature decreases, the ability for the air to hold moisture also decreases.
The Causes of Sleep Apnea
A child's health directly correlates with indoor air quality and temperature. Children tend to inhale greater volumes of air than adults, which means their immature immune systems are more susceptible to excessive amounts of airborne pathogens. Babies and toddlers tend to breathe through open mouths as well, a habit that places an increased risk of exposing small lungs to fibers and particulates that otherwise would be inhaled nasally and filtered out within the nose.
Young children who suffer from reoccurring ear infections may be experiencing repeated upper respiratory infections due to overly warm, humid and stuffy nurseries. Fluid congestion in the sinuses makes a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, exacerbated when a young child continuously inhale poor quality air. Continuous awakening during the night due to snoring, coughing and inflamed reactive airways may cause children who sleep in nurseries with reduced air quality to develop a condition called sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is experienced when the airway's soft tissues over-relax once a the child enters deeper levels of sleep. When these tissues obstruct passages through which air should flow easily, he must fight harder to access air. Struggling to breath rapidly reduces oxygen levels and increases carbon dioxide levels in the blood, triggering the instinct to gulp for air. Episodes of abnormal breathing cessation can occur many times while trying to sleep as well.
Young children with pre-sleep apnea symptoms experience an exacerbation of symptoms when sensitive airway tissues swell in response to impure air. Removing mold, dust, fungal spores and other potentially harmful allergens from the air volume within a room using a portable air conditioner can reduce or even eliminate troubling symptoms and help the child breathe more easily while asleep.
Choosing the Right Portable Air Conditioning Unit for Your Nursery
BTU Calculator For Portable Air Conditioners
The higher a BTU rating is for an AC unit, the bigger, heavier and more expensive it is. Usually between 5000 and 32000 BTUs, AC units are important to consider when purchasing an air cooling system, since a unit with too low of a BTU rating may not effectively cool a room.
Generally, a 200 square foot room needs an air conditioner in the 9000 to 10000 BTU range. A room containing 450 square foot may require one providing 16000 BTUs. These numbers may need raised or lowered if the nursery is shaded or subjected to intense sunlight at certain times of the day.
By dividing the number of watts by the BTU, you also receive the EER of an AC unit. This Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a range of numbers between eight and 11.5, reveals the efficiency of any AC unit. Although a unit with a high EER rating will be more expensive, the energy you save may be worth the extra cost.
Unlike window units, portable air conditions can be carried anywhere in the home wherever fresh, cool air is needed and are more affordable to run than larger AC units that tend to place heavy burdens on monthly energy bills.
Modern portable air conditioners need little to no installation and come with an auto-drain function that prevents overflow by facilitating draining of the unit. Moreover, they offer advanced, digital display panels so that precise control of the unit and the nursery's climate is achieved along with multiple fan speeds, programmable timer and auto-evaporative technology to enhance cooling efficiency and reduce production of condensate material.
Dramatically improves air quality-portable AC units effectively filter out pollen, dust mites, dander and fungal spores while inhibiting the infectiousness of bacteria and viruses.
Maintains healthy humidity levels
Keeps air in the room smelling fresh and clean
Allows children to get a good night's sleep
- Acts as a preventive for respiratory chronic respiratory illnesses
Easy to maintain and clean (much fewer components than large air conditioners and less bulky than window units)
Does not present the dangers that a window AC unit may present-falling out of the window, motor burning and catching on fire or making the room too cold
Moreover, the heaviness of window AC units are a heavy contribute to a window frame deterioration such as splintering and cracking. With a Portable AC, you save on window repair and retain the ability to open any window at any time.
Portable air conditioners create the kind of healthy, comfortable environment every nursery should have. Make sure you nurture the air your children breathe in their nursery by maintaining a soothing temperature and clean, fresh, breathable air with a portable AC unit. Visit our website today to find the perfect portable air conditioner that keeps your child's nursery comfortable, clean and healthy.
New or expecting parents should also take note of all this information. Most new parents want to give their new baby a beautiful nursery, fulfilled with heart warming colors, but they should keep in mind that an air conditioner should be their first purchase, even more, a crib or stroller.