About 1 in 10 (over 2 million) Australians suffer from asthma, one of the highest rates in the world. In fact, asthma is responsible for 38,000 hospitalisations and 400 deaths each year, and is the leading reason children are absent from school.
How to protect yourself
If you are asthmatic, the Asthma Foundation recommends things you can do to make your home more asthma-friendly and how to remove triggers that may aggravate your asthma -.
You see, for most asthmatics, there are allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms — many of them found in the home.
Disturbingly, research shows that, depending on where you live, the air inside your home can actually be considerably more polluted than the air outside.
So, what are the triggers?
Here are some common triggers for asthma:
- 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
To make your home asthma-friendly, the Asthma Foundation suggests you address the following:
- heating and cooling
- dust mite populations
- the impact of pets.
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.
And the regeneration of air in your home is important for your health. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommend that homes should have enough ventilation to exchange the air once every four hours.
How do home ventilation systems work?
Home ventilation systems are installed within your roof space. They draw incoming air from two areas:
- the roof space where the air is dry and warm
- outside your home.
The incoming air is filtered of toxins, like pollens, dust mites and dander. It is then distributed throughout your home driving out existing stale (possibly polluted) air through cracks around your doors, windows or specially-installed vents. This is called “Positive pressure.”
What about air conditioners ?
Air conditioners reduce humidity, filter, heat and cool the air in your home . Air distributed by domestic air conditioners is recycled. Your average domestic split cycle system recycles 100% of its air with no fresh air drawn from outside – you need to open doors and windows to let fresh air in. Commercial buildings have systems which draw just 10% from outside.
In contrast, home ventilation systems continually draw fresh filtered air into your home.
Home ventilation systems don’t replace air conditioners though — their ability to warm or cool your home is dependent on climatic conditions. They will, however, reduce your reliance on them, which is a good thing as they are expensive to run.
Home ventilation systems are ideal for asthmatics. This is simply because they drive out the toxins and moisture from the air that can trigger asthma symptoms..