According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), one in fifteen Americans suffers from asthma. That’s a whopping 20 million people in the United States alone. Many more people are affected by allergens that are known to cause asthma, resulting in a growing number of diagnosed cases each year. If you or someone that you live with has asthma, there are many things you can do to make your home more asthma friendly. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Conquer the Dust
Dust is a major problem for individuals with asthma, so put dusting at the top of your chore list and do it on a weekly basis. Use a damp cloth to remove surface dust from furniture and knick-knacks, and buy a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum cleaner to remove dust from your carpets and upholsteries. Anyone with asthma should not be present while you’re dusting, so wait until they are out of the house before doing it. If you have asthma, get someone else in your family to take over so that you can get some relief.
Dust Mite Prevention
Like dust, dust mites can cause some serious asthma flare-ups, so get rid of them by enclosing all pillows and mattresses in protective coverings, and washing all bedding once a week. Sheets and pillowcases should be washed in hot water using a mild, detergent free of dyes and fragrance. Comforters and blankets that aren’t washed as frequently should be aired out for several hours in the sunshine. Stuffed animals are prime spots for dust mites–you can get rid of them by placing the stuffed animals in the freezer for a full day each week. If possible, keep the number of stuffed animals to a minimum to aid in prevention. Vacuuming carpets and rugs in the bedrooms will also be helpful in getting rid of those nasty dust mites, so tackle that task regularly, too.
Clean Up After Pets
If you have pets inside your home, bathe them regularly and make sure you clean up after them on a daily basis. Keep them out of the bedrooms if you can–at least out rooms where those with asthma sleep. Vacuum more frequently than you would if you didn’t have animals, wipe up any accidents right away, and clean and change cat litter often. If you don’t have a pet but are thinking about getting one, do some research first. Find out which type of animal and breed would be the most suitable if you or someone in your home has asthma.
Keep Moisture Out
Excess moisture in the home can be very dangerous to anyone, and if you have asthma it’s even more important that you maintain control over it at all times. Moisture causes mold–and once you have it, it can be a pain to get rid of. Make sure exhaust fans in the kitchen and in the bathrooms are in good working order, and if you don’t have them–look into getting them. Use a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture in a damp basement, and consider having someone give your basement an overall inspection so that any problem areas can be taken care of. Cracks in the foundation can allow water to come in during a rainstorm or flood–so if there are any, they should be properly sealed so that you eliminate that risk. If you have do get water inside the home, pull up rugs and carpets immediately. Allowing them to sit will create the perfect environment for mold to grow. If you suspect that you have a mold problem already, enlist the help of a professional to find out what you can do to conquer the problem once and for all.
The more things you have in your house, the more challenging it is to dust and clean around them. Reduce clutter by regularly getting rid of things you no longer want or use, and by keeping tabs on what comes in so that your home doesn’t fill up with “stuff.” Organize what you do have and you’ll find that cleaning in general becomes a much easier job.
Consult With Your Doctor
Discuss with your doctor what other things you can do to make your home more asthma friendly. He or she can help you come up with a plan of attack that will help keep asthma symptoms at bay.
Asthma-proofing your home as much as you can will reduce the number of missed days from work or school, cut-down on the number of doctor visits you make each year, and improve symptoms in general so that you can stay on top of your condition. The health of you and your loved ones should be a top priority. Make life with asthma easier by implementing these asthma friendly tips and suggestions today.
About the Author:
Written by Casey Lynch. Casey writes about home, health, cheap home insurance, and related home topics for HomeInsurance.org.