The Link Between Ceiling Fans And Asthma Flare-ups

Nowadays, essentially every home has at least one ceiling fan. It goes without saying that ceiling fans are useful, especially in areas that are warm most months of the year. There’s nothing like getting stale air circulating, and some people love the ambient noise fans make when they’re going to sleep. However, your ceiling fans could potentially be causing you health problems that you aren’t even aware of.

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, millions of people suffer from allergy symptoms caused by indoor allergens. These allergens can also trigger asthma flare-ups in people with allergic asthma. One of the most common indoor allergens? Dust mites.

Dust mites can be found throughout various parts of the house and tend to thrive in warm, humid environments. Their favorite places to nest? Bedding, carpets, and upholstered furniture. However, they also love to hide in hard-to-clean areas — like your ceiling fan.

Mites exist by living in areas with dust. Since ceiling fans are so hard to reach and are seldom (if ever) cleaned, dust mites are attracted to the blades. When the mites defecate, their droppings are transferred to the blades and this is what triggers allergens.

source: / Photo by David Spears FRPS FRMS/Corbis

Although this sounds rather horrifying, you can target dust mites in a few simple steps. First, ensure that you clean your ceiling fan regularly, even if you have it on most days. Use a damp cloth to trap the dust, then clean the blades with a household cleaner. In addition to keeping your fan clean, you can also invest in a dehumidifier. This will take the humidity out of your home, making it more difficult for dust mites to live.

When it comes to keeping your furniture and carpet free from mites, ensure you’re vacuuming regularly. It’s important to get into all those hard-to-reach places, including under the seat cushions and of course, under the furniture itself.

When it comes to your bed, there are a few steps you can take. There are many airtight mattress covers you can buy to protect mites from living in your mattress. It’s also important to wash your bedding (including mattress protector and pillow cases) regularly. Hot water cycles are the best way to go, as cold water cycles likely won’t kill any mites living in your bedding.

If you have ceiling fans in your home, there’s no need to panic. Just clean them regularly (in addition to furniture, carpets, and bedding) to keep mites out of your home and your allergies at bay.