Asthma & Indoor Air Quality
Over 17 million Americans suffer from asthma – an inflammation of the lungs that constricts airways causing wheezing, coughing and acute shortness of breath. If you or one of your loved ones is among them, you know what a frustrating and potential dangerous affliction it can be. Asthma is the leading cause of long-term illness in children.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to clear the air and protect the Asthma sufferer in your home from the unpleasant effects of this all-too-common affliction. But first, you must understand what you’re up against.
Since common allergens and irritants in the home may trigger asthma symptoms, the first step is to identify the possible triggers in your home and eliminate as many of them as possible. Here are a few common triggers along with some suggested remedies:
1. Secondhand Smoke – Smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. Do not to smoke in your home or car and do not allow others to do so.
2. Dust Mites – These microscopic monsters commonly infest mattresses, pillows, carpets, fabric-covered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys, and soft stuff. You can never totally eliminate them, but you can keep them “under wraps.”
- Wash sheets and blankets in hot water every week.
- Choose washable stuffed toys, wash them often in hot water and dry them thoroughly.
- Keep stuffed toys off beds.
- Cover mattresses and pillows with allergen-impermeable (dust-proof) zippered covers.
- vacuum furniture and carpets at least three times per week
3. Pets – Unpleasant as it is to talk about, your peas urine, skin flakes, and saliva can trigger asthma. Here are a few helpful hints:
- Keep pets outside as much as possible
- When inside, keep them of bedrooms and other sleeping areas of asthma sufferer.
- Keep pets away from fabric-covered furniture, carpet, and stuffed toys.
4. Molds – Molds grow on damp materials. The key to mold control is moisture control.
- If mold is a problem in your home, clean up the mold and get rid of excess water or moisture.
- Lowering moisture also helps reduce other triggers, such as dust mites and cockroaches.
- Wash mold off hard surfaces and dry completely. If mold is growing on absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, they may need to be replaced.
- Fix leaky plumbing and other sources of water.
- Keep drip pans in your air conditioner, refrigerator, and dehumidifier clean and dry.
- Use exhaust fans or open windows in kitchens and bathrooms when showering, cooking, or using the dishwasher.
- Vent clothes dryers to the outside.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, ideally between 30-50% relative humidity. Note: To keep track of the humidity in your home, pick up a hydrometers, at your local hardware store.
5. Pests – Another unpleasant topic but important to understand. Droppings or body parts of pests such as cockroaches or rodents can be asthma triggers as well.
- Do not leave food or garbage out.
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Clean all food crumbs or spilled liquids right away.
- Try using poison baits, boric acid (for cockroaches), or traps before using pesticide sprays.
- If sprays are used: Limit the spray to infested area.
- Carefully follow instructions on the label.
- Make sure there is plenty of fresh air when you spray.
- Keep the person with asthma out of the room.
6. Also…Common house dust may contain asthma triggers. So…
- Remove dust with a damp cloth often.
- Vacuum carpet and fabric-covered furniture to reduce dust build-up. It may be helpful to use vacuums with high efficiency filters or central vacuums. Allergic people should leave the area being vacuumed.
Contact us for a free air quality test kit. It’s a simple test that you leave for three days and return to us. From that, we can provide you with an air quality report. We’ll also check your duct work (if applicable) and do a walk-through of the whole house or building.
Call 866-491-2768 for more information on how we can help keep your home’s air clean and healthy!