If you are one of the many people who suffer from asthma, the key to relief is to control allergy triggers (allergens).

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to “asthma-proof” your home and make it more comfortable. Proper home ventilation is a key step in asthma-proofing your home.

Follow the tips below to help reduce your or your family’s asthma symptoms.

  • Try to stay away from second-hand tobacco smoke – and protect children from it. If anyone in your household smokes, make sure they smoke outside or away from children. If smoking occurs, use a home ventilation system to rid your property of the smoke.
  • Make sure wood stoves and fireplaces are well-vented outside, with good draft and well-functioning chimneys. Only light fires when local air quality is good, and only burn wood (no other items) with enough paper and kindling to start the fire. Keep as much smoke out of the room as possible by closing fireplace doors. Make sure there is proper home ventilation so the smoke doesn’t settle in rooms where there are fireplaces.
  • Use only clean-burning candles. Plain, unscented natural beeswax candles have a gentle, sweet scent without added perfumes and dyes. Rooms with candles should be properly ventilated so smoke dissipates.
  • Don’t use bedding or pillows stuffed with down, feathers or foam rubber. Use dust-proof, hypoallergenic allergen-impermeable fabric cases to cover pillows and mattress. Wash your bedding once a week in hot water, and dry in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes to eliminate dust mites.
  • Dust mites are the most common trigger of allergy and asthma symptoms. These tiny insects live in the dust particles that naturally collect in our homes. The key is to have as few places as possible for particles to collect and to keep these places clean. Dust and vacuum your home regularly when people are out of the room. Use a damp cloth for dusting, and a vacuum that collects and traps dust mites such as one with a double bag. If you have pets, keep them off furniture and out of bedrooms. Also make sure that you rid your home of cockroaches and other pests that may carry allergens.
  • Install an efficient home ventilation system. Positive pressure/roof cavity ventilation systems are the most common type available in New Zealand. They force filtered air from the roof space into the house through a single, or multiple, ceiling vents. This pushes air inside the house out through gaps around doors and windows and other leakage areas. Proper home ventilation is greatly assisted by a well-functioning home ventilation system.

With planning and care, your home can be safe for those suffering with asthma. Proper ventilation is key to asthma-proofing your property. Homes tightly sealed with closed windows trap the air which leads to less ventilation causing the irritants that trigger asthma to be more concentrated. Follow the simple tips outlined here to reduce your and your family’s asthma symptoms.

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