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How can I manage cold dry air in my home?

AAFA's "Ask the Allergist" is a free service provided by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Our allergist will answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We provide only general advice about managing asthma or allergies, medicines and treatments. "Ask the Allergist" does not answer questions about specific consumer products. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Always talk with your doctor before changing your asthma or allergy management plan.

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Question
I’m moving to Colorado soon. It’s extremely dry when it’s not snowing. When I visited in the past, I’ve had issues with dryness (skin, eyes, hair). So, I want to look at a humidifier for my home.
Answer

Dry air can dry out the mucus membranes that line the respiratory tract including the nose, throat, and lungs. It can trigger asthma and cause itchy, dry skin. A cool-mist humidifier can help with dry air and keep humidity at a more comfortable level. Here’s a link to AAFA’s Asthma & Allergy-Friendly certified humidifiers. It is important to keep the humidity at 50% or below. Higher humidity can increase mold growth and dust mites. Mold and dust mites can cause asthma and allergy symptoms. Remember to clean the humidifier as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent mold from growing in the device.

Categories
Air Quality, Indoor Air Quality
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston D.O. FAAAAI, FACAAI

Reviewed and Answered

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Comments (2)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

@Tia74, I have some general recommendations (below) for you based on what you've shared so far, but I believe I would be able to give you better advice based on your specific situation if I had a few more details.

If that's of interest to you, please contact me at the AAFA Support Center via phone (800-727-8462) or email (info@aafa.org).

Recommendations:

  • If you live in a home where you have access to the HVAC filters, you should make sure they are being replaced when they're dirty
  • If you don't have access to the HVAC filters where you live, try to contact the landlord/building manager/maintenance to address this
  • If you have a gas stove, always turn on the fan on the range hood and cook on the back burner(s) as often as possible
  • If the outdoor air quality is good, open your windows from time to time when possible to ventilate the home
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Wash/clean your bed linen, curtains, and furniture regularly
  • If/when you buy new furniture, try to avoid purchasing cloth furniture

JR Denson, EMT

Support Center Manager

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

I’ve had a water heater leak… I’m living with open walls, dusty cement floors and attempting to find estimates and repairs… for over a month now.  
Ive purchased an air purifier to help with my asthma.  I have it in my bedroom.  
is there anything else you can recommend?
thanks,  

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