Your home is supposed to be your safe haven. The place you come to at the end of the day where you prohibit smoking. You control the indoor air as much as possible to ensure that your oxygen concentrator is only bringing in the purest air possible for you to breathe. You might even go so far as to grow air-cleaning plants in your home. After doing all this, you might still be having unexplained flare-ups after you've spend some time your home.
There are a few things you might have or be using in your home that are harming you, that you are unaware of – things that you wouldn't have guessed.
Central Air Duct Maintenance
If you have been getting sick frequently, and you haven't gotten your central heating and cooling system cleaned in a while, this very well could be the culprit. Hire a professional to clean and service your heating and cooing vents, and you should schedule to do this once a year.
The most ideal times to do this would be in the early summer or in the fall, right before the times when you will be using it most, and right after it has likely been sitting and collecting dust and mold inside the vents and ducts. Buy a high efficiency filter for your central heating cooling and replace these filters every three months to keep the air as clean as possible at all times. You should still open the windows and let in fresh air as much as possible, except for days when the pollen count or ozone levels are high.
Replace Cleaning Agents
Cleaning chemicals, or cleaning agents that contain ammonia, bleach, or strong fragrances can be harmful for people with sensitive lungs, or people with chronic lung diseases. Luckily, most of the time, we can replace these harmful chemicals with natural alternatives and still get our homes just as clean. Vinegar is a good replacement.
Use a solution of vinegar and water to clean your windows and clean most other hard surfaces, such as tiles and counter tops. If you've never used vinegar to clean, you will be surprised how quickly it brings up dirt. If you don't like the smell, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the vinegar water to give it a fresh scent.
Even if you otherwise do your best to keep the dust down in your home, you will likely still have problems because of the carpeting. If the carpet in your home is older than 2 years old, you probably have a layer of dust and mold underneath, that makes its way up and into the air whenever someone walks across it, even if you vacuum frequently.
Many healthcare providers suggest that COPD or asthma patients take out the carpeting in their homes altogether, since it is easier to keep hardwood floors clean. If you can't remove the carpets, steam clean them once a year and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about COPD, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.