How can we make our home asthma friendly?
Approximately 700,000 New Zealanders suffer from respiratory disease, asthmatics are a large portion of this disease. 1 in 10 will be hospitalised at some point in their life and over 3000 will die every year. Respiratory disease is the 3rd leading cause of death in NZ. Most of this illness can be prevented.
How can we protect ourselves?
Nearly every New Zealander lives in an environment full of triggers which can cause asthma or initiate flare ups but you can do something about it. Creating a warmer drier healthier indoor living environment is the first step to controlling these triggers.
What are these triggers?
Most asthmatic triggers are found in the home. The asthma foundation recommends things that can make your home asthma friendly and what you can do to remove these harmful triggers that aggravate an asthma attack.
Research by the World Health Organisation has concluded that indoor air can be up to 10x more polluted than outside air. We spend up to 90% of our life indoors so we are subjecting ourselves to this highly polluted air and increasing the chances of respiratory disease.
More common triggers found in the home:
Pollens from trees, plants and grasses
Dust mites dwelling in your carpets and bedding
Moulds caused by moisture
Pets — their fur, skin or scales, known as “dander”
Other triggers like smoke, chemicals, perfumes and cold air.
Make your home asthma friendly.
The NZ Asthma Foundation suggests all NZ homes should be:
Dry and warm
Free from mould
Friendly to the environment and the people who live in it
How do home ventilation systems help?
Home ventilation systems are effective at removing many asthma triggers. This is because rather than circulating air throughout your home, which contains toxins, they replace it with filtered air.
Home ventilation systems also play a large factor in controlling dampness which in turn controls mould, toxins and stale air. Stale air harbours bacteria and viruses, this stagnated air will sit in unventilated rooms, corners and pockets throughout the house, ventilation systems will mobilise this stale air flushing it from the home and replacing it with fresh clean air.
How do home ventilation systems work?
Home ventilation systems can be installed in your roof space and in some circumstances under the floor. They take incoming air from two areas:
the roof space where the air is drier and, in some cases, warmer,
outside your home.
The incoming air is passed through high grade filters filtering out dust, pollen, toxins, mould spores and many other pollutants. It is then distributed throughout your home exhausting out existing stale (possibly polluted) air through cracks around your doors, windows or specially-installed vents.
What about air conditioners.
Air conditioners or commonly known as heat pumps provide heated air or cooler air, they recirculate the existing air inside the home and do not filter out pollutants to the same extent that a good home ventilation filtration system can. They do not replace the air with fresh outside air to the same extent that a purpose designed and built ventilation system can. Some larger ducted air conditioning system have a fresh air kit built in however mostly these only deliver 10% of fresh air per volume of air they handle.
Air conditioners and home ventilation systems are different animals, they each have a different purpose in the home and compliment each other when both are installed.
What should we do next?
The next step is to have a BDVAir approved assessment caried out on your home to establish where there may be pollutant triggers in your home and to have expert advise on how to control these.
This is a free service from BDVAir and takes 30 – 60 minutes.
Call or email us today or complete a free assessment form attached to book yours.