How Does Air Quality Affect Dry Cough?
There’s no good time to suffer from seasonal allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. However, with the current events, this is certainly the worst time. If you’ve ever had to venture out into the public while suffering from coughing or sneezing then you understand the stigma.
What many people don’t know is that the quality of the air in your home can greatly contribute to these irritating symptoms, particularly the dreaded dry cough.
Poor indoor air quality is hard on your lungs because it can damage the natural defenses your body has to protect you from things like coughing. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to amend your indoor air and keep it from making you susceptible to respiratory issues.
What Causes Coughing?
While many people consider coughing a bad thing, it is actually one of the body’s defense mechanisms to protect you from bacteria and particulate matter in the air.
When you cough, your body is attempting to expel foreign matter from your body forcefully along with the mucus that lines your lungs and captures foreign particles. When your cough is dry and unproductive, it means this mucus layer is too dry to protect you.
The main cause of coughing and dry lungs has to do with poor indoor air quality. Temperature and humidity are the two main factors. Not maintaining a proper balance of temperature and humidity harms your body’s natural defenses and can lead to a host of respiratory symptoms.
What Temperature Is Best?
If you are suffering from a dry cough and looking to make changes that will help, the first step you should take is to turn up your thermostat. Cold air from your air conditioner is hard on your lungs in two ways.
First, drafts from your air conditioner confront your body with sudden temperature changes that can induce coughing fits. Secondly, cold air is always drier than warm air. The sudden burst of cold air can quickly dry your lungs out, leaving them vulnerable to allergens and bacteria.
By turning your thermostat up a couple of degrees, anywhere between 74 and 78 Fahrenheit, you will reduce the chances of being exposed to drafts of cold, dry air and allow the humidity level to come up in your home. Best of all, by raising the temperature, your air conditioner will likely run less, also helping to lower your energy costs in the process.
Can a Humidifier Help?
If you really want to know if the humidity in your home is low, buy a device called a hygrometer. A hygrometer is an instrument, similar to a thermometer that measures humidity. They are readily available online and at hardware stores. Many new, digital thermostats also track it inside the home.
The ideal home humidity should be kept around 40-60% to prevent problems like a dry cough. If you track the humidity of your home and find that it is too low, running a humidifier can certainly help.
Humidifiers work by pumping water vapor into the air around them. As the air fills up with water vapor, you breathe it in and allow it to fortify your lungs. Many people find that sleeping with a humidifier running can lessen or totally alleviate symptoms such as dry cough.
About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning
Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning is a licensed electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling contractor that has been proud to serve the Sun Prairie, WI area since 1984. Serving both residential and commercial customers, they can help repair and improve your home or business.