Asthma and allergies can be caused by a variety of airborne triggers, such as pollen and pet dander. Particulates and smog in the air can also trigger asthma.
While you can’t always avoid triggers, there’s a lot you can do to minimize exposure, especially when you’re inside. Here are four ways to improve indoor air quality and minimize allergy and asthma symptoms.
Vacuum regularly. This prevents allergens on the floor from getting kicked back up into the air. Use a vacuum with a HEPA-filter so that the allergens don’t get blown out the back of the vacuum and back into the air.
Remove carpeting if you can. Carpeting traps dust, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander — all potential allergens. Hard surfaces, such as wood or laminate, are far easier to remove allergens from.
Turn on the vent over your stove every time you cook. Cooking releases smoke into the air. Gas stoves also emit nitrogen dioxide and PM 2.5. Smoke, particulates, and nitrogen dioxide are all potential asthma triggers. Running the vent while you cook, ideally with a nearby window cracked open, can help remove these allergens from the air.
Open (and close) your windows. Fresh air brings the indoor carbon dioxide level down, helping you feel more awake. It also helps dilute indoor air pollutants. However, if someone in your house has a pollen allergy, try keeping the windows shut during peak pollen season — especially during the times of day when pollen peaks in your area.
If you live somewhere prone to outdoor air pollution, check the air quality at airnow.gov first.