By DeAnn Kamp, Broker/Realtor® GRI, CSMS
Whether you or a loved one has COPD, there are many actions that you can take to improve the air quality on your home and help relieve the symptoms of this condition. There are many things that can trigger COPD symptoms. Knowing how to improve the air in your home will significantly decrease your symptoms.
Moisture and Humidity
Living in the Sunshine State offers beautiful beaches, warm weather and unfortunately lots of humidity. Water creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. Both of these are detrimental for a person with COPD. Not only can moisture create mold but it, by itself, makes it much harder for a person to breathe. A dehumidifier may be the solution.
Dust can cause the lungs to inflame. Dusting surfaces frequently will keep these particles at a minimum. Ceiling fans are notorious for collecting dust. Static is known to attract all kinds of dust, so using anti-static cleaners can make a difference.
Bleach, Windex, paint, spray and other items release harmful chemicals. These can seriously affect someone who has COPD. Use these items in moderation and try not to use them around the person with COPD. Alternatively, one can use natural cleaning solutions.
Gas appliances can slowly leak gas into the house. This will definitely affect a person’s ability to breathe. All gas appliances, such as dryers, water heaters and the like, should have vents that go outside. Having gas detectors inside the house is equally important as having smoke detectors.
Smoking is the number one cause of COPD. Smoke contains carcinogens that can both trigger and cause COPD. Secondhand smoke is just as harmful. Creating a smoke-free environment is the first step in creating a COPD-friendly environment. If someone in the house must smoke, they can always go outside. Incense and candles may also pose a problem for the individual with COPD.
Unfortunately, pets retain all kinds of dander and other particles in their fur that makes it harder to breathe. On the other hand, there are certain breeds of animals that have less dander. Keeping pets well-groomed and clean will help keep the air clean. Long-haired animals are more likely to cause a problem.
Not only will radon cause breathing problems, but it’s cancerous as well. The worst of it is that it’s an invisible, odorless gas. There are professionals who are able to detect this element in houses. Fortunately, radon can be eliminated quite easily.
There are various ways to keep an ideal environment for someone living with COPD. Air purifiers are probably your best bet. However, the things mentioned above may dramatically reduce symptoms of the condition.