If you feel as though you've had a nagging cough all winter, but have ruled out cancer, pneumonia, and other serious illnesses as the cause, you may be dealing with an air quality problem in your home. Even if you don't suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma, high dust levels or other airborne impurities can irritate your nasal lining and throat, leading to sinus drainage and the urge to cough. Fortunately, ridding yourself of this cough could be as simple as taking a few steps to improve your home's air quality. Read on to learn more about the potential culprits behind your cough and how you can combat them.
Clean your air ducts
If your home has a central heating and air conditioning system, the ducts that carry this heated air from your furnace can often accumulate dust over time, blasting this dust through your home like a misting fan each time you adjust the thermostat. Spring and fall may be the worst for your ducts -- if warm days are pleasant enough for you to turn off the heater or air conditioner and open a window, the air flow that normally removes dust from your ducts will be stopped while pollen and other airborne particles settle there. While manually cleaning your floor grates can go a long way toward reducing dust levels, having your air ducts professionally cleaned by a company like Capital Heating & Cooling can remove any dust or pollen buildup lurking inside the ductwork beyond your reach.
Purchase a portable air filter
While many modern homes have an interior air filter near the central heating and air register, installing a standalone air filter designed to remove pollen, bacteria, and other airborne irritants from the surrounding air can kick up this protection. By purchasing a smaller air filter you can move with you from room to room, you'll be able to ensure you always have a supply of pure, healthy air from which to draw your next breath.
Invest in a decorative pink salt lamp or beeswax candle
While burning a candle indoors may not seem like a logical way to remove impurities from the air, burning beeswax can actually release beneficial ions into the air, where they attach to toxic compounds released by environmental pollution (like car exhaust), neutralizing them. Certain kinds of salt lamps can also absorb "dirty" water molecules from the air, keeping the toxins and impurities contained within this water droplet confined inside the salt after the moisture has evaporated. Both these products can provide you with an aesthetically appealing way to improve your home's air quality.