Improving indoor air quality

Find out how to improve the air quality in your home and what to do you if you’re still getting symptoms.

Indoor air sensors

You can check the quality of the air with indoor air sensors. They can measure humidity, particulate matter (PM), air temperature, VOCs, carbon dioxide and, other gases in the air.

Based on the results, you can make choices on what to change in your home. For example, changing cleaning products if you have a high level of VOC in the air.

Take all your medicines as prescribed

If you are affected by indoor air pollution, it’s important to continue to manage your condition well to reduce your chances of having a flare-up. Remember to take all your medicines as prescribed and follow your self-management plan.

Keep rooms well-aired

Open your windows for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day if you can, especially if you’re cooking or using the shower. Keeping your space well-aired is especially important if you’re having building work done. Keeping your windows open also reduces risks from viruses, such as the coronavirus.

If you live in a highly polluted area, check the air pollution levels before opening windows.

Some people find that air filters help with symptoms triggered by dust mites or mould. Air filters won’t remove all allergens though.

Use allergy friendly or chemical-free products

Allergy friendly and chemical-free products have lower levels of VOCs and are usually fragrance-free. You may also benefit from using solid products, like roll-on deodorant. Unlike sprays, these won’t get into the air for you to breathe in.

Prevent condensation

If you can, dry washing outside or use a tumble dryer. If you can’t do that, try a well-aired room or airing cupboard.

You could also try using an extraction fan in the kitchen and bathroom. This will prevent damp and mould.

It’s also important to fix any leaks or water damage, as this will help to prevent humidity that causes condensation. By preventing condensation, you can help to prevent mould in your home.

De-humidifiers can also help to prevent condensation. However, they can make the air too dry and cause you to cough. A good de-humidifier will allow you to set a well-balanced humidity level.

Keep your home warm

By keeping your home between 18°C and 21°C in colder months, you can prevent condensation, damp, and mould.

Cost of living

We know that the cost of living crisis is affecting people across the UK. Find out how to get help with heating costs.

Keep your home smoke-free

Don’t smoke indoors and don’t allow others to smoke in your home. If you smoke, the best thing to do to improve your health is to quit. If smoke from your neighbours is affecting you, try asking them to smoke somewhere else. If you explain your situation, they may be understanding.

Use electric or gas heating

Cook and heat your home with electric and gas instead of burning wood and coal. Remember to use an extraction fan or open windows when cooking.

Vacuum regularly

Vacuum your home if you’re allergic to anything. You may even want to replace, or ask your landlord about replacing, carpets with wood or laminate flooring. Dusting with a damp cloth will help stop dust getting into your mouth and nose.

Vacuum cleaners with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters can trap more house dust mites than normal vacuum cleaners.

Talk to your GP if your symptoms are worse

If indoor air pollution makes the symptoms of your lung condition worse, speak to your GP or doctor.

If you’re renting, your GP or doctor can write a letter to your landlord if they believe the home you’re living in is a danger to your health. Your landlord should fix the problem if your living conditions are affecting your health and safety.

Did you find this information useful?

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 0300 222 5800 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Page last reviewed:
Next review due: