5 Ways to Asthma-Proof Your Home

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Susan Fishman, APC, CRC on January 20, 2021
  • couple-house-cleaning-with-vacuum
    Snuff Out the Triggers
    Asthma triggers in the home are sneaky. They can hide in some pretty hard-to-reach and unexpected places that can make them difficult to uncover and eliminate. But with a little detective work and a handful of tips, you can do a lot to de-trigger your home and breathe easier.
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    1. Update your bedroom.
    If you’ve been looking for a reason to update your bedroom décor, your asthma may be it. Dust mites, pollen from outdoors and dander (flakes of skin) from your pets are asthma triggers that hide in rugs, upholstered furniture and curtains. So it’s a good idea to replace these items with hard, smooth surfaces where possible. Your bedding could also use a makeover. Encase mattresses and pillows in mite-proof covers, and replace wool or feather bedding with synthetic options. If you can’t replace these items, wash once a week in 130-degree water to help kill the mites and their eggs. And keep pets off the bed (and, preferably, out of the bedroom).
  • Home Interior Mold
    2. Inspect for mold.
    Mold is another trigger that can creep up in a number of places. The most likely spots include the kitchen, laundry room, basement and bathroom where water and moisture tend to linger. Be sure to wipe down the tub and shower after use to help remove excess moisture, and replace rugs in these rooms with tile or linoleum flooring, if possible. Clean any mold from window sills, showers and curtains, even the refrigerator (especially the door and rubber seals) with bleach. And repair any leaks or water damage in the roof, ceilings, foundation, windows or stairwells. Also, humid homes breed mold, so keep the temperature between 68 and 72 degrees, and keep humidity below 50 percent.
  • No Smoking
    3. Keep it smoke-free.
    Smoke in the home is a particularly pesky trigger that can bring on an asthma episode or increase the severity of an attack. Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can be especially bothersome. Be sure your stove, furnace and/or fireplace are well ventilated and working properly (if you have a stovetop hood, you may need to install a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes). And never allow smoking of cigarettes, cigars or pipes in your home.
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    4. Keep it crumb-free.
    Cockroaches can leave a trail of dust that may aggravate your airways. To keep your home roach-free, clean up crumbs immediately after eating, and avoid eating on furniture where crumbs can settle between the cushions. It’s also a good idea to take out the garbage daily, keep the kitchen sink clear and clean, and keep all food in sealed containers. Even pet food should not be left out for roaches to find.  You may need to hire an exterminator to install baits and seal cracks to keep pests out.
  • woman-cleaning-kitchen-counter
    5. Call in the house cleaner.
    Kicking up dust while cleaning is more than just a nuisance for an asthma sufferer. You may want to consider bringing in a professional for weekly cleaning, especially for dusting and vacuuming. It can also help to clear your house of clutter and knickknacks that tend to collect dust. Also, store your books and items like children’s toys in closed cabinets or other sealed containers. If you must do your own cleaning, be sure to wear a dust mask, and use a damp cloth for dusting and a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter for vacuuming. Reducing the triggers in your home can make a major difference in how you breathe and feel, but if you find you are still suffering from asthma symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor. Together, you may be able to uncover the triggers are most troublesome for you and develop a game plan, including treatment, to reduce your exposure and your symptoms. 
5 Ways to Asthma-Proof Your Home

About The Author

Susan Fishman, APC, CRC is a veteran freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in health education. She is also an Associate Professional Counselor and Clinical Rehabilitation Counselor, adding mental health and wellness to her area of expertise.

You can follow Susan’s work at http://www.writingbyfishman.com/ or https://twitter.com/@fishmanwriting on Twitter.
  1. Reducing Allergens in the Home, A Room-by-Room Guide. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/2111.pdf
  2. Mold. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mold/basics.htm
  3. Asthma Triggers. Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/page/asthma-triggers-causes.aspx?gclid=CjwKEAiAvZTCBRDvnoOaoa2j3xISJABxPjN9RCtH_l279QCox-AhvQntFRGCG8F4XH2oRmBmR1vdmxoCDTPw_wcB
  4. Asthma Triggers Indoors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/triggers_indoor.html
  5. Asthma Triggers: Gain Control. US Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/asthma/asthma-triggers-gain-control
  6. Allergy-Proof Your Home. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy/art-20049365
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Last Review Date: 2021 Jan 20
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