If changes in the temperature trigger your asthma symptoms, then maintaining a consistent temperature throughout your home can be helpful. Cold, dry air is a particularly common problem for people whose asthma is not well controlled.
Below are some tips on cooling and heating which may help to prevent or reduce Asthma symptom flare ups.
Air is blown through water-saturated filters creating a cooling effect. These are generally used in dry climates so are quite effective in Central Australia. They do increase humidity levels so may increase levels of mould or house dust mite.
Refrigerated air conditioning
Refrigerated air conditioning makes air slightly drier. Colder drier air can trigger asthma, so it is important to avoid being close to the vents and breathing in the air directly. It is also recommended to maintain the temperature at 24°C.
NB: Getting air conditioners cleaned/serviced regularly also reduces dust and improves the effectiveness of the unit.
Overhead fans are very common in the Top End of the NT and they should be cleaned regularly to remove dust and fluff. If they have not been used for a while always clean them before turning them on to avoid spreading dust.
Insulation is essential if you wish to keep a consistent temperature throughout your home. Consider wall and cling insulation of foil or polyester as it doesn’t create airborne particles.
Heating (for our Central Australian friends):
Once again maintaining a consistent temperature throughout your home is very important as a change in temperature is a common trigger for asthma.
Radiant heaters are a good choice because they ‘radiate heat rather than rely on a fan to warm and circulate the air temperature.
Fan assisted (convection) systems:
If the circulation of dust is not an issue, you might consider a fixed fan heater with a heat pump (capable of both heating and cooling your home) or a gas heater with a flue. These heaters warm up the air temperature however, some people may find that the drier air produced by these heaters can trigger an asthma flare up.
Unflued gas heaters:
When gas is burnt, air pollutants that can trigger asthma are produced. Gas heaters with a flue send these pollutants outside while an unflued gas heater releases them directly into the home.
Avoid unflued gas heaters where possible.
Open fires and wood heaters:
Wood and coal burning fires release tiny particles into the air both inside and out that can cause respiratory.
Kerosene heaters are known to trigger asthma flares.
Hopefully these tips will help you to enjoy the cooler weather without too much disturbance to you asthma.
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