How Your Choice Of Home Heating System Can Affect Your Asthma
in Hydronic Heating by Michael Eagleton

If you or someone in your family has asthma, you should be well aware that there are several common triggers that can cause symptoms to flare up. These include dander (the fur, skin or even scales from household pets), moulds (which are caused by moisture in the home), dust mites living in your bedding or carpets, pollens from plants, chemicals, smoke, perfumes, cold air and so on. It’s important that you know what your triggers are and how to manage them.

Many people are actually surprised to learn that their choice of home heating system can have a big impact on asthma symptoms. As such, a radiant system is going to be a far better choice for your home than a ducted (or forced air) one.

Why is forced air bad for people with asthma?

Although these systems are quite effective at heating our homes, they also move dust, pollen and other triggers around, too. This can aggravate asthma symptoms (such as shortness of breath) or even trigger a full-blown attack. Although many triggers are present in our homes, if they have been allowed to settle they tend to provide fewer problems. When forced air heating is switched on, they’re constantly kicked up into the air where they can be inhaled.

Why is radiant/convection heating good for people with asthma?

The main reason that these types of systems are preferable for the homes of those with asthma is that there isn’t any air movement involved at all. If any of the above triggers are present in your home, they’ll be allowed to settle and won’t be constantly present in the air we are inhaling. You’ll also find that there is simply less presence of these triggers in your home, making for a much healthier environment for the whole family (not just those with asthma).

How does radiant heating work?

When your home is under construction, coils will be laid out on the site and the concrete slab will be poured directly over the top. The pipes are connected to a boiler, which is responsible for heating water to the desired temperature before passing it through the pipe network. When switched on, the pipes will heat up the concrete slab; the heat then radiates upwards into the rooms above. This results in an even level of warmth from floor to ceiling.

How does convection heating work?

This option requires radiators to be mounted onto the walls in the rooms you wish to heat, but trench heating can also be installed in the floor for similar results. Both types of outlet are fed by pipes that are run beneath the floor or through the ceiling (depending on the home). They are also fed hot water that is heated by a boiler. Heat is dispersed into the room via air convection currents that circulate through the body of the appliance and across the heating element.

If you or someone in your family has asthma, we hope that the information provided here has enabled you to select a home heating system that will keep as many of their triggers at bay as possible. At CambroHydronic Heating, we supply a handful of systems that are completely suitable for use by asthma sufferers, including: slab heating, radiators and trench heating. We also offer combined systems to ensure that all limitations of your home at met.