Did you know the air in your Tampa, Florida, home could be affecting your respiratory health? This is particularly true if you have asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition that makes it hard to move air in and out of the lungs because of swelling or inflammation. Often, poor air quality can exacerbate this inflammation, making it harder to breathe and putting you at risk for developing even more health issues. Learn more about the common effects indoor air quality have on asthma and what you can do to improve the air in your home.
Pollen, Pet Dander, and Dust Mites
Unless you’re using a quality air filter, there’s a good chance you have plenty of pollen, pet dander, and dust mites flying around in the air your HVAC system circulates. These small particles can irritate the lungs and cause your airways to swell, contributing to a full-blown asthma attack. The problem is even worse if you’re allergic to any of these substances. Your asthma symptoms might be compounded by clogged sinuses and extra mucus production.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to combat these pesky irritants. Start by changing your HVAC system’s filter every month, especially if you have several pets. Additionally, you’ll want to vacuum regularly, use hypoallergenic mattress covers and pillowcases, and wash your bedding at least once a week. You might even consider having your ducts cleaned every so often to eliminate lingering particles.
Extremely high humidity levels are bad for your skin, but they also play a big role in your respiratory health. In air that’s too wet, pollutants like pollen and other allergens can travel more freely, getting trapped by the damp air particles. Dust mites love warm, moist air and will thrive in such an environment.
While this is obviously a concern, another problem of having a home that’s too humid is the contrast with the outdoor air. If your home is warm and moist and the outside air is cooler or drier, the transitional stress on your lungs when you walk outside is enough to trigger an asthma attack.
To prevent these issues, you should keep the humidity at 40 to 45 percent. You can better monitor your humidity levels by installing a whole-home dehumidifier that hooks up directly into your HVAC system.
Viruses and Bacteria
Flu season is upon us, which means an increase in the different viruses residing in your home. Unfortunately, numerous viruses, especially the ones that cause influenza, have been linked to triggering asthma attacks. The issue isn’t limited to viruses; bacteria that cause colds and other infections can also wreak havoc on your respiratory health.
While constant cleaning should definitely help cut down on germs lingering on countertops and other surfaces, it won’t eliminate air-bound particles. To tackle this, consider installing a UV purification system in your HVAC system. Better yet, have us install a new air conditioner unit to improve your overall efficiency and reduce the chance of hazardous outdoor air seeping into your ductwork.
Chemicals and Smoke
Even if you don’t have asthma, chemicals and smoke are a common trigger for breathing issues. For those with asthma, in particular, even the smoke from a fireplace or a cigarette is enough to cause intense episodes of wheezing and difficulty breathing. Chemicals, on the other hand, can come in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They’re often found in cleaning supplies, fuel, cosmetics, upholstery, and more.
Obviously, banning all smoke in the home is a good start to clearing up your air quality. However, you’ll also need to reduce your use of VOCs, which means switching to natural cleaning supplies. Additionally, if there’s a lot of smoke or fumes in the outdoor air, keep your windows closed so the particles don’t get inside.
These are just a few of the many ways indoor air quality affects asthma. In addition to the protective steps we’ve mentioned above, we recommend calling us to perform an indoor air quality assessment in your home. Nuccio Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has years of experience providing Tampa homeowners with clean and safe air. Call us today at 813-961-7895 to get started.
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