Just Breathe ...
Right now, germs are circulating in your home and bird room. Here are some tips to help
you and your birds breathe a little easier.
Make a Change for the Better
Air temperature and air quality are two different things. Simply heating and cooling the air does not mean the quality of the air will be acceptable—that air could still have a high particulate count or may contain aerosolized germs, like those that can cause infectious respiratory diseases. According to the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the standard recommendation for ventilation in an animal facility is 10-20 room air exchanges per hour.
Now an animal care facility will have a heavier burden than most homes, but they are also larger than most homes. If you have multiple birds in your home then think about the air exchange rate of your current system.
Air exchange is accomplished through a system's duct work and fan sizes/speeds. HVAC systems also have a filter. Think about cleaning out your ducts periodically and make sure to change your filters regularly. If you have a lot of birds or have very dusty birds you may need to do this more frequently. You also might consider investing in an air filtration system in addition to the HVAC system.
Let the Fresh Air In
Whenever you can, safely open the windows and doors to allow outside air in, just be sure there is no risk of escape and your birds won’t be exposed to temperature extremes as a result.
Utilize Outdoor Space Whenever Possible
Allowing birds access to the outdoors will help improve their air quality while also improving overall health and enrichment. Birds need UVB rays for Vitamin D which plays an important role in calcium absorption. Being outside is a stimulating experience for your birds. Just make sure they have access to shaded areas and water in the summer and don't put them outside if the temperature is low. [See our "Running Hot & Cold" blog.]
Spot cleaning with wet rags instead of spraying water and cleaners (always use natural cleaners). Regular cleaning and vacuuming will help too. When changing cage papers, spray them with plain water to make dust and debris less likely to become airborne. Wipe down dusty surfaces with a lightly damp rag to trap the dust (yes, even your wood furniture will be fine).
Dry It, You'll Like It
Humidity and damp surfaces can harbor germs so after cleaning be sure to dry surfaces thoroughly.