• Various indoor air pollutants, such as cigarette smoke and gas appliances, can affect the quality of oxygen available in your home.
• Dust and dust mites can irritate the respiratory system and trigger symptoms like coughing and sneezing.
• Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, worsening respiratory problems.
• Pet dander from your pets can also cause respiratory problems.
• Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can be dangerous when accumulating in your home.
Have you ever wondered why you often find yourself coughing or having difficulty breathing in the comfort of your own home? The reality is numerous factors can affect the air quality within the four walls of your living space.
Common Reasons Why You’re Struggling to Breathe at Home
Oxygen is an essential element for human life, yet air pollution and hazardous substances can affect the quality of oxygen available in your home. Here are some reasons you’re struggling to breathe at home.
Indoor Air Pollutants
One of the most common reasons for respiratory problems at home is indoor air pollutants. These can come from various sources, such as cigarette smoke, wood-burning stoves, and gas appliances.
Pollutants can also be produced from everyday household items, such as building materials, furniture, carpets, and cleaning products. These pollutants can irritate the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. To reduce indoor air pollutants, ensure proper ventilation, quit smoking indoors or entirely, and choose low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products for your home.
Dust and Dust Mites
Dust is another major factor contributing to respiratory problems, as it can quickly accumulate on surfaces and float in the air. Dust mites, which thrive in warm and humid environments, feed off the dead skin cells found in dust. They can trigger allergic reactions, resulting in respiratory issues when inhaled. To minimize dust and dust mites, maintain a consistent cleaning routine for all surfaces, vacuum regularly, and wash beddings in hot water at least once weekly.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew grow in damp and humid environments and can worsen respiratory problems, especially for those with asthma or allergies. Mold spores are airborne and may irritate the lungs and trigger respiratory symptoms when inhaled. Controlling humidity levels, fixing water leaks, and proper ventilation can help prevent mold and mildew growth. Using a dehumidifier and air purifier with HEPA filters can also assist in creating a healthier home environment.
If you have pets, their dander (skin cells, hair, and saliva) can cause respiratory problems for some individuals, particularly those with asthma or allergies. Regularly grooming and bathing your pets, vacuuming and cleaning surfaces, and limiting their access to certain areas in your home can help control pet dander levels. Using air purifiers with HEPA filters also aids in removing pet dander from the air.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the decay of uranium found naturally in soil, rock, and groundwater. When it enters your home through cracks and openings in the foundation, it can accumulate and pose a significant health risk.
Exposure to radon gas over an extended period can cause lung cancer and worsen respiratory problems. Testing for radon and implementing necessary measures, such as sealing cracks and improving ventilation, can safeguard your home from this harmful gas.
Dealing with the problems above is necessary for keeping your home air clean and safe to breathe. However, prevention will always be better than cure. Here are some preventive tips to ensure your home doesn’t have to go through the problems above.
Keep Your Clothes Clean
One of the most efficient ways to keep your home air clean is to ensure that all clothes, bedding, and cushions are washed regularly. This way, you can get rid of dust mites and other pollutants from them before they have a chance to enter the air. If you don’t have the time for this, consider hiring local dry cleaners to help you. They can also provide preventive solutions such as steam cleaning and unique treatments to reduce dust mites.
Use Air Purifiers
Air purifiers are designed to remove pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants. Look for models with HEPA filters that trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. You may also want to consider using an air purifier with activated carbon filters to remove odors and VOCs.
Vacuum More Often
Regular vacuuming is an essential part of maintaining a healthy home environment. Vacuuming can help remove dust, pet dander, and other pollutants from your floors and furniture. Make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter for maximum efficiency.
Maintain Low Humidity Levels
Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, so keeping your home’s humidity levels low is essential. Use a dehumidifier if the humidity is more than 60%. You should also repair leaks or water damage immediately to prevent mold growth.
Respiratory problems at home can be caused by numerous factors, ranging from indoor air pollutants to pet dander and radon gas. Preventive measures can help keep the air in your home safe and healthy. Ensure you also work on lowering humidity levels and fixing water leaks to prevent mold growth. With these steps, you can ensure that your home is safe for your family to breathe.