Indoor Air Quality Series: Asthma Triggers—a guide to prevent and safely remove allergens from your home

[Infographic] Indoor Air Quality—Asthma Triggers

For many people, allergies and asthma are bad enough outside, and it’s nice to be able to get inside to escape these triggers. With spring in full swing in Central Texas, it’s easy to blame your symptoms on all the pollen, mold, and other allergens floating around outside. However, there’s a number of asthma and allergy triggers just waiting indoors.

From dust mites to cockroaches, molds, pollen, and pets, these triggers can be even more abundant indoors than out. This is especially true in the summer and winter, when we close our windows to keep cool or warm air inside. Luckily, most of these issues can be prevented or reduced fairly easily. Using information provided by epa.gov, we’ve put together an infographic that discusses these triggers and some tips to prevent or reduce them inside your home.

Full infographic on indoor air quality and asthma triggers. Refer to the article below for a text version.

Dust Mites

Invisible to the human eye, these tiny 8-legged freeloaders live in sheets, bedding, carpet, and any other furniture made of fabric. Despite their small size, their bodies and feces are a common asthma trigger because of their sheer numbers. Once dust mites take hold in a piece of furniture or bedding, their numbers can grow exponentially. The feces and exoskeletons they leave behind can build up quickly and cause symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Actions to take

  • Wash bedding weekly in hot water.
  • Use dust-proof mattresses and pillow covers.
  • Keep indoor humidity between thirty and fifty percent.

Cockroaches

Found nearly everywhere, these insects are incredibly well-adapted to living with humans and can be especially problematic in crowded cities. Their body parts, feces, and saliva can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms in many people. While most roach species are solitary, certain types form nests with incredibly high numbers.

Actions to take

  • Never leave food or dirty dishes out.
  • Remove hiding spots like boxes / newspaper.
  • Try boric acid before resorting to pesticides.

Molds

Able to grow on nearly any surface with the right moisture, molds are some of the most ancient and prolific types of life. This ubiquity can be problematic, considering their spores can trigger asthma and are a common source of allergies. While there’s little you can do about high mold levels in outdoor air after a rain, you can work to keep your indoor air mold levels as low as possible by eliminating moisture sources.

Actions to take

  • Keep appliance drip pans clean and dry.
  • Vent clothes dryers to the outside.
  • Use exhaust fans when cooking and showering.

Pollen

One of the most common sources of allergens, pollen can hitch a ride on clothing and enter the home through even the smallest openings. This makes pollen very difficult to deal with, especially during the spring and fall when outdoor air becomes saturated with it. Unless you have house plants, however, indoor pollen sources aren’t really an issue. As a result, pollen can generally be combated without changing anything indoors.

Actions to take

  • Stay indoors on high pollen days
  • Run the AC to filter pollen from the outside air

Pets

As hard as it is for an animal lover to admit, our furry friends can be some of the most difficult sources of allergens and asthma triggers to deal with. Dander, hair, and saliva of warm-blooded pets like dogs, cats, and rodents are especially common triggers. These allergens can be very difficult to manage as long as you keep your pets indoors, but there are a few steps you can take to keep their levels down without giving up your pets.

  • Keep pets out of bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Keep pets away from fabrics and furniture.
  • Consider a pet-free home if symptoms don’t improve.

We hope you found this infographic useful! Please feel free to share it on your favorite social media sites. And if you need any indoor air quality experts, give AirOne a call today!

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