Between the pollen, chlorine, insects, and other allergens, North Carolina summers can trigger a number of asthma symptoms. This can cause many asthma sufferers to stay inside, but did you know that poor indoor air quality is also a contributing factor? Learning a few home maintenance tips to boost your indoor air quality is a great way to control asthma no matter the season.
Southern hospitality doesn’t apply to pests. Some insects like dust mites and roaches are common asthma triggers, and they’re crawling all over the South. Whether you live within the Charlotte city limits or out in the country, chances are you’re probably dealing with some kind of unwelcome insect.
Hiring an exterminator is a good solution for major infestations, but you can ward off future invaders by sealing up any cracks around your home’s exterior. Clean sinks and countertops after meals, mop up spills right away, and secure all packaged food in airtight containers. Dusting frequently will help keep dust mites at bay, as well as reduce two other common triggers: dust and pet dander.
2. Reduce Indoor Cigarette Smoke
Secondhand smoke is a major asthma trigger. The smell alone can cause watery eyes, wheezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, and shortness of breath, which can be fatal for someone suffering from severe asthma. Rather than let any visitors light up indoors, ask them to step outside or hold off on taking that cigarette break until they leave your property, since even the smell of cigarette smoke on clothing can trigger asthma symptoms.
If cigarette smoke is already in your home, use an air purifier to decrease the smell and clean the entire house, including the walls and ceilings. You’ll also want to deep-clean the carpets and mop any hardwood floors.
3. Keep Things Dry
Mold, mildew, and fungi may not be the most obvious asthma triggers because they start out as tiny airborne spores looking for a moist environment, but they can cause a lot of respiratory damage. Moisture control is key to keeping mold at bay, but this involves identifying problem areas around your home.
Start in the bathrooms, basement, and closets to see if there are any signs of condensation, moisture, water damage, water stains, or obvious mold growth. Do the same near sinks, gutters, and other water sources. Addressing any problems may require waterproofing or ripping up flooring to combat the issue, but moisture-absorbing products, dehumidifiers, and proper ventilation can help prevent future growth.
4. Maintain Proper Air Quality
At the end of the day, there’s only so much cleaning you can do to banish asthma triggers. Proper ventilation is key, and this includes having HEPA filters, clean duct work, and an efficient HVAC system installed. Change or wash your filters monthly for the best result, and inspect ducts regularly to ensure they’re free of dust. Getting your indoor air quality professionally tested is a great way to identify any problems in your home that you can’t see, and it’s the best way to ensure you home’s comfort level and performance are at their peak.
A home energy audit is also a great way to boost indoor ventilation and prevent asthma triggers. Professional auditors inspect your home from top to bottom, taking into account every nook and cranny, so they can spot poor ventilation problems that could result in asthma attacks. In addition, having your home technically and scientifically tested can help provide advanced solutions to why you’re still dealing with respiratory issues in your home. Professional services cover everything from carbon monoxide and radon testing to air duct leakage and indoor air quality assessments. This benefits not only the asthma sufferer, but every member of the family.
We understand that maintaining a healthy atmosphere for the asthma sufferers in your home is crucial. Contact Ross & Witmer at (704) 392-6188 to learn more about our indoor air quality testing and product solutions.