10 Ways to Keep Your Indoor Air Clean Pt 1.

breath-easy-copd-400x400FRESH, HEALTHY AIR

Pollution is hazardous for your heart and can wreak havoc if you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “COPD stands for two processes that almost always occur together: chronic bronchitis, which is inflammation of the airways, and emphysema, which is destruction of the fine substance of the lung,” says Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association.

But the air inside your home matters too. Take these simple steps to keep irritants out of your airways, which can help stop trouble before it gets started.

AVOID WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACES

Wood-burning fireplaces—charming and romantic as they may be—produce particulate matter that can get into your lungs and make it harder to breathe.

“Wood-burning fireplaces put out soot and carbon,” says Len Horovitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “There’s nothing in there that’s a good thing for a patient. There’s no inhalant that’s worse than smoke.”

STEER CLEAR OF SMOKERS

Smoking causes about 85% of COPD cases in the United States, says Dr. Edelman. But whether or not you smoked before you were diagnosed, you’ll need to stay away from secondhand (or firsthand) smoke. “Smoking and secondhand smoke are absolutely to be avoided,” Dr. Horovitz says.

It’s no secret that kicking the habit is really, really hard. But if you have COPD and smoke, the stakes are higher than ever before. Quit and you’ll prevent further damage; don’t and the disease will progress faster.

KEEP THE DUST MITES AWAY

Like humans, dust mites like to burrow into mattresses and bedding. “Dust mites are a trigger for asthmatics and people with COPD and should be kept to a minimum,” Dr. Horovitz says.

He recommends using mattress covers and pillowcases that are bed-bug proof, which usually means they’re mite-proof as well. And pick pillows that are made of foam rubber, not goose-down or feathers.
Washing your linens in hot water (above 130°F) at least once a week will also keep the dust mites at bay, Dr. Edelman says.

CUT THE CHEMICALS

It’s a bit of a conundrum. You need to clean up dust and pet dander, but strong-smelling cleaning products can be lung irritants.

Even walking into a recently cleaned house can be a problem and wearing a mask won’t necessarily help. That means using vinegar or regular old soap and water, basically “things that don’t have a fragrance,” says Dr. Horovitz. You should avoid hair spray, perfumes, glues, paints, and air fresheners too. “If you want to freshen your air, clean and don’t mask over another odor,” he says.

Keep an eye out for Part 2!

To learn more about how to keep your home’s air clean, or to learn more about duct cleaning, call us today at 888-DUCTSOK! You can also visit us on Facebook & Twitter!

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