Asthma affects one in 13 Americans, with numbers steadily rising since the early 1980's. When allergens or other irritants enter the lungs, asthma symptoms can be triggered as the airways swell. Symptoms may include coughing, trouble breathing, wheezing, and a tight feeling in the chest. While you may not have any control over the quality or contents of the air outside your front door, you can take control of the air quality inside your home. If one or more family members suffers from asthma, there are a number of steps you can take to improve the quality of your indoor air, and help them to breathe easier at home.
Steps To Improved Indoor Air Quality and Asthma Prevention
The air inside your home is continuously being recirculated any time there is movement from occupants or open doors or windows, as well as by forced air HVAC systems. Allergens and other particulates are stirred up and carried along the current, making their way in to your lungs and triggering asthma symptoms or even a potential asthma attack in those who are susceptible. Implement the following changes to reduce the risks associated with asthma and improve the quality of your indoor air:
1. Clean smarter, not harder. Wipe flat surfaces regularly using a microfiber or electrostatic cloth which help to trap dust and other particulates rather than merely moving them around. Begin cleaning at the highest level in the room and work your way down, remembering to include blinds and window ledges.
2. Invest in a HEPA filter. Choose a high quality vacuum with a built in HEPA filter to trap particles as you clean your floors.
3. Wash bedding regularly. Protect mattresses and pillows with dust mite covers, and wash sheets and duvet covers frequently in hot water. Dust mites feed off dead skin cells and are traditionally found in large quantities among bedding.
4. Opt for leather. Soft fabrics on chairs and sofas can trap allergens such as dust, smoke, dander, and pollen. Gradually replacing these items with more impermeable options such as leather can reduce the volume of allergens in your home.
5. Have your ductwork professionally cleaned. As your forced air HVAC system circulates conditioned air throughout your home, dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens are also circulated and can settle in your ductwork over time. Leaky ductwork in unconditioned spaces such as a basement, attic, or crawlspace can draw in additional allergens such as mold or mildew, further exacerbating asthma symptoms. Routine, professional duct cleaning services eliminate hidden particulate and in addition to helping prevent asthma attacks, can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and reduce the amount of dust in your home.
6. Install hard flooring. Carpet fibers trap allergens as they settle only to release them each time you take a step. Reduce or eliminate the amount of carpeting you have in your home, particularly in bedrooms to reduce asthma symptoms.
7. Replace your air filter. A dirty or clogged air filter does little to stop allergens from circulating through your ductwork. Change your filter every four to six weeks during peak heating and cooling season for best results.
Residential Duct Cleaning Services In Northern Virginia and Washington, DC
If you or someone in your home suffers from asthma, your home will assuredly benefit from professional duct cleaning.