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The Link Between Indoor Air Quality and COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects millions of people in the United States, making breathing difficult and worsening over time. Smoking is the leading risk factor for COPD, followed by secondhand smoke and air pollution, often from prolonged exposure to chemicals, dust, and fumes.When it comes to managing COPD, air pollution plays an important role. While outdoor air pollution is an issue, indoor air can sometimes be more polluted with airborne irritants that make breathing more difficult in general. There are ways you can improve your indoor air by reducing or eliminating certain pollutants.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute advises people living with COPD to avoid exposure to pollutants. The COPD Foundation outlines ways to deal with the air quality in a home. Some of these ways include:

1. Ventilation
Opening windows helps to ventilate indoor air and any recirculating pollutants. Using exhaust fans also helps to ventilate steam while cooking and to prevent mold and mildew from forming in the bathroom. If allergies and asthma are a concern, it may be better to keep windows closed and run the air conditioner when the weather is warm and allergen levels are high.

2. Cleaning and Reducing Dust Buildup
A regular, thorough cleaning helps to eliminate particles that wind up on the surfaces in your home, especially dust mites and mold spores. It’s also a good idea to reduce clutter in order to reduce dust buildup.

3. AC Maintenance
An annual AC Inspection and routine maintenance are important for ensuring an efficiently running system that is free of all dirt and debris. A clean air conditioner and air filter not only help the performance of the system but also the air inside your home.

4. Air Filtration System
In relation to a properly functioning AC and clean air filter, an air filtration system can better clean indoor air. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) works to capture the smallest of allergenic particles through the use of three filters, installed within an HVAC system. Whole-house air cleaners are also effective, using an electrostatic charge to attract up to 97% of particles .3 microns and size and 40% of Volatile Organic Compounds like pesticides and chemicals found in cleaning products.

5. Household Chemicals
Reducing the use of household chemicals or eliminating them altogether can help your indoor air quality. Chemicals from air fresheners, cleaners, hair sprays, etc. can trigger your respiratory system. Allow for ventilation when using any products or opt for natural ones instead.

Gillece Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Taking steps to improve indoor air quality can benefit your health, especially if you or a loved one has COPD. Reducing indoor air pollutants can help people manage the disease by making breathing easier without exposure to common irritants. Gillece provides many IAQ options including air cleaners and air purifiers for a wide range of pollution problems. Contact your Pittsburgh Indoor Air Quality Specialists for better breathing today.