Air Quality in Your Home
The air you breathe can have a big impact on your health, and indoor air can sometimes be more polluted than outdoor air.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there are 3 major airborne threats in a home: allergens, irritants, and dangerous chemicals.
Allergens come from pollen, dust mites, and pets, and can cause your immune system to react.
Irritants won’t necessarily trigger your immune system, but can include compounds that can make breathing more difficult. Common indoor air irritants include chemicals used in painting, finishing, or staining furniture. Pesticides, tobacco smoke, and chemicals in cleaning products are irritants as well. Sometimes these chemicals have odors that you can detect but sometimes they don’t.
Take these steps to purify the air in your home:
- Ventilate your home by opening windows and running exhaust fans
- Do not allow smoking in your home
- Remove clutter (clutter collects dust!)
- Minimize dust mites by washing your bed linens weekly, lowering the humidity level, and keeping pets off your furniture
- Keep floors and carpets clean
- Install an air filtration system
- Have your air conditioner inspected regularly for mold and mildew in the duct work
- Reduce your exposure to household chemicals such as paints, varnishes, and cleaning products
Visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation’s website for more tips on how to improve the air quality of your home.
It is possible to stay well, even if you have COPD, at any stage. Watch for early warning signs and don’t ignore them. Work with your health care team to avoid acute exacerbations!