When most of us think about air quality, we imagine plumes of smoke rising from factories or waves of pollen blowing in the wind. Canadians know that outdoor air quality matters and that pollution can impact their health, but very few people are concerned about their indoor air quality and how it affects their asthma.
These days, Canadians spend 90% of their time indoors, so making sure the air we breathe isn’t harmful is key to staying healthy. Here are our top three tips for improving your indoor air quality.
1. Avoiding Allergens:
Allergens are a major asthma trigger, and there can be many different types of allergens in your home. Common allergens include dust mites, pets, moulds and cockroaches.
The best way to neutralize allergens is to keep things clean. Dust mites thrive in soft-surfaced places where there is an abundant food supply, which just so happens to be shed human skin cells found in bedding, mattresses, pillows, sofas and carpets.
Keep your indoor spaces uncluttered, wash your sheets and bedding weekly in hot water (55 degrees C), and vacuum your floor and mattress often (find asthma & allergy friendly™ certified vacuums here)
Pro-Tip: Keep your windows and doors closed in the summer to avoid pollen and other outdoor allergy triggers from finding their way inside the house.
Other ways of minimizing indoor allergens include:
- Removing carpets and furniture that trap allergens
- Keeping pets out of the bedroom and off of furniture that collects pet allergens
- Encasing your mattress, pillows and box springs in allergen-resistant covers
- Reducing moisture in the bathroom and kitchen to prevent mould (use a dehumidifier)
- Cleaning showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets weekly to stop mould from growing
- Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove allergen particles from the air
- Not leaving out food, water or garbage that could attract cockroaches (if your home has cockroaches call a professional exterminator)
Minimizing your exposure to allergens will help you control your asthma symptoms and improve your indoor air quality.
2. Control your Air
You have a lot of control over your indoor air quality. Staying smoke and scent-free is an easy way to improve the air quality in your home or workplace. Cigarette smoke, wood smoke, and scented products like candles, flowers, perfumes, cleaning supplies, and laundry products can all be asthma triggers. You have the power to keep these triggers out of your indoor spaces.
Pro-Tip: Laundry detergents are an often overlooked asthma trigger. Opt for unscented and all-natural detergents instead of scented ones; your lungs will thank you for it!
3. Choose Safe Products
Just as you can choose to avoid smoking inside, so too can you decide to use asthma and allergy friendly products as much as possible. Chemical fumes from products like paints, cleaners, scented cosmetics, and laundry supplies can all trigger an asthma attack or worsening of symptoms. Finding products that don’t cause any symptoms is a great way to keep your indoor air free from asthma triggers. Look for products with the asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program logo to find products that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.
Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor when it comes to managing your asthma. Always be conscious of the air you breathe and put your health first.