Unheated house : I was wondering if... - Lung Conditions C...

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Unheated house

teddyd profile image
83 Replies

I was wondering if anyone has any information or reasearch on the affect an unheated house would have on long term lung conditions. I have bronchietasis and asthma. I was going to do a bit of research but I thought someone might already have the info.Thank you in advance .🥶

83 Replies
Littlepom profile image
Littlepom

I don't know about the official research but a lifetime of living with bronch confirms that living in a cold house is very bad for me and I am sure for all lung conditions. Due to a failure by Worcester Bosch customer services last december I spent 12 days in the cold and had my first exacerbation for a year. As it happens the same boiler failed yesterday and after an email to the CEO from me the engineer is fitting a new one as I speak.

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to Littlepom

I should think so too Littlepom. You’ll soon be nice and warm. Xxx😘

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to sassy59

Thanks sassy. I've got a team GB power lifter fitting it. Made my day 🤣

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to Littlepom

Wow! That’s brilliant! 👍😂💞

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to Littlepom

how exciting! he’ll soon warm you up 😊

watergazer profile image
watergazer in reply to Littlepom

amazing xx

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to Littlepom

Hope this new boiler will make your home toasty warm and help you get over this exacerbation x

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to Izb1

Aww thanks. I had the exacerbation when left in the cold last Dec and haven't had one since. However, as we know, now begins the time of dodging other people's germs. Stay well xx

Lol1944 profile image
Lol1944

For me it is the cold air that I breathe in that is the problem, be it inside or outside. If under 16 degrees I suffer regardless of wearing sufficient clothing to be bodily warm.

TeachKat profile image
TeachKat in reply to Lol1944

Me too - 16 degrees seems to be the critical temperature.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy

Not seen official research but read (and am afraid I agree with) that cold housing can be bad for anyone but especially those with lung issues. There is a media trend saying (with cost of living crisis) only heat rooms actual use. However, what isn’t being widely publicised is that leaving rooms cold can increase risk of mould on walls which as well as potentially being dangerous for us lungies can be expensive to treat once it takes hold!!

I have purchased many items for cold months ahead (such as slanket, hot water bottles you heat in microwave, teddy fleece bedding, wrist warmers and so on) but will still heat all rooms for a few hours each day.

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Bevvy

I read a report Bevvy cpl days ago about this and it recommend heating unused rooms on a low setting

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to Patk1

yes I read something about that too, it’s tempting not to heat unused rooms but it’s not a good idea to have cold spots in a house so it’s best to have heating on low

Spacecat1 profile image
Spacecat1 in reply to Bevvy

We keep heating on low setting as I cannot stand full heat affects my breathing love my fleecy blanket and hot water bottle.

Vvalerie profile image
Vvalerie in reply to Spacecat1

gosh I thought I was the only person that has trouble breathing in central heating warm air

Spacecat1 profile image
Spacecat1 in reply to Vvalerie

Love heat but I do have problems hubby is brilliant and knows how I struggle so like me sits with a bottle and blblanket.

slram profile image
slram in reply to Bevvy

I would think mold would thrive in a warm, moist area?

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to slram

difficult moulds will try to take in different areas but it is know that in cold homes, which often are also damp due to UK climate, mould will grow and flourish. You rarely get mould in warm, dry and ventilated homes.

Purpled profile image
Purpled in reply to Bevvy

Would running a dehumidifier help do you think they are not expensive to run.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to Purpled

sorry I have no idea. Guess depends on humidifier and how long you run it for.

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16

This topic was featured on breakfast news on TV this morning. A man with a lung condition being interviewed said that he can keep his body warm with extra clothing but he needs to breathe warm air to avoid having breathing difficulties.

Tugun profile image
Tugun in reply to CDPO16

I'm totally with him. I can have on every warm piece of clothing but if I'm breathing in cold air I get asthma and usually any bacteria in my airways flares up as well. Someone once left a door open and I didn't realise I was getting progressively colder until I felt suddenly cold and my throat was on fire with a flare up of whatever sore throat was going around at the time. My body had been keeping it at bay until my core temperature dropped.

I used to wake up with a slight sore throat until I started leaving a heater on at night.

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to Tugun

Surprising how different we all are. I much prefer a cool room and cool air to breathe.

Vvalerie profile image
Vvalerie in reply to CDPO16

me to I need to keep my body warm but same time can’t stand warm air I feel so breathless it’s a no win situation

Petrina_gmfc profile image
Petrina_gmfc

It will make it worse living in a place like that .

Patk1 profile image
Patk1

For anyone in a cold home or outside,I'd recommend a thin,or thick,loosely wrapped scarf,or a snood.it helps to warm the air you breathe.its comfy and also helps keep u warm. It wouldn't interfere with 02 tubing,& is v effective if it's windy,too.keep warm everyone.if u need to turn heating down,wrap up in layered clothing and plenty of hot drinks,maybe use a flask instead of kreep boiling kettle.stay safe xxx

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby

Cold air is a trigger for anyone with asthma and as a kid my mother was told to ensure a warm, even temperature. But our house was ancient and draughty, no c/h even though this was the 80s! We had open fires & oil heaters. The living room and kitchen were warm but my north facing bedroom freezing! My asthma was terrible, so it’s a warm, modern house for me now, and b***** the cost

Tugun profile image
Tugun in reply to eleanordigby

I'm the same. I'm working at the moment so not sure what will happen when I retire. However heat will always be a priority.

Blackbird9 profile image
Blackbird9

It's the opposite for me I suffer in too much heat .. I don't mind the cold and don't switch heating on until probably January if it's even cold then for me ... I sleep with my bedroom window open all year round to keep cool ...its air pressure that has me struggling some days when walking if the sky's heavy with cloud and pressure is low ... swings and roundabouts in this world 💜

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to Blackbird9

January, amazing! What’s your lung illness, if you don’t mind me asking?

Blackbird9 profile image
Blackbird9 in reply to eleanordigby

COPD diagnosed 2016 😊

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to Blackbird9

Ooh you must be tough!

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Blackbird9

Yes high humidity, and sudden gusts of cold wind affects me most.

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to Blackbird9

I always have my windows open too, my bedroom window all night. Cool air suits me better as long as it isn't icy cold air.

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Blackbird9

I think air pressure affects me too,BB.both sinuses and airways x

Blackbird9 profile image
Blackbird9 in reply to Patk1

Yes I'm not a lover of my chest feeling like its being crushed it's horrible 😞

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Blackbird9

Not good.get pain in sinuses + head too.x

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60

Not sure on that one teddyd, but a warm home is better. If not do try to keep yourself bodily warm, socks, wheat pads , extra duvet or blankets even when sitting. Hyperthermia can kill so if you can afford your heat on do so even if at short spates or try having it on lower temperature . They are now coming up with places where you can go for freindship and warmth but these are not best for those who cannot get out. Cold does cause exasperations of lung conditions, speaking from experience warmth makes you feel better too.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54

Hi I have mild/moderate copd and asthma. Cold air does make my breathing worse.

However I don't live in a house but a small 1 bed flat and don't have central heating. I have just a 2 bar halogen fire but I open the bedroom door and so it's not freezing in there.

I live in South Devon so it's a bit warmer than most places and I haven't had any heating at all on since 31st March. I have a lovely warm throw my sister bought me for my tatty old sofa but it's on me instead! So far I haven't been really cold but do recognise I will have to turn the fire on if it does get really cold. Due to the cost I am trying to keep it off as long as possible.

Blackbird9 profile image
Blackbird9 in reply to hypercat54

Try a small electric blanket on your couch under a throw and switched on low roasty toasty 🥰

Jaybird19 profile image
Jaybird19

Keep moving to keep warm . I get cold when I s it down despite lots of layers and still have to move around . My blood circulation is not good . Helps to lie flat and then i get cosy!! Also have electric blanket that is designed to be left on very low for up to 9 hours as well as being able to warm bed very quickly if necessary .

teddyd profile image
teddyd

Thank you everyone for your replies. I have not felt the need to put thhe central heating on. Its a cozy flat I stay in. But currently my asthma/bronchietasis has flared up and I wondered if it because I dont want to put my heating on. I know I am stubborn and not wanting to put one penny more into the fat cats pockets than I need to. However I know my stupidity could possibly affect my health.

Thanks again for everyones input to the discussion as it is going to affect lots of us especially people with medical equipment ( I only have a nebuliser )

XX

SORRELHIPPO profile image
SORRELHIPPO

My experience as an asthmatic, in my grandparent's home, was that if I went into a very cold room, i started wheezing, unless I did very shallow breathing. When going outside always made to wrap a scarf round my nose and mouth, breathing through this reduced the chance of me wheezing. So for me, not so much the being cold, but the very cold air hitting the lungs, they revolted!!

JJ_7 profile image
JJ_7 in reply to SORRELHIPPO

Yes happens to me too. On a few ocassions in winter, I came up my stairs and collapsed wheezing in my vestibule and was lucky to have salbutamol to hand. I must have lay for 15 mins recovering. Very scary noy being able to breathe.

garshe profile image
garshe

I would never even consider living in an unheated house. I have COPD and my health is more important than anything. The gas and electric company have increased my monthly Direct Debit payment so I'm paying anyway. Your health will suffer badly living in an unheated house. I put my heating on depending on the weather. Also heat every room otherwise causes draughts. The Government are giving help for your heating etc so you pay that into your Account ,that is what the money for. Sheila xx

Janeane10 profile image
Janeane10

I have asthma I know from experience I have asthma after living in a home with no heating while it was being put in for 18 months I cot pleurisy and pneumonia I strongly advise against it

Alberta56 profile image
Alberta56

I'm one of those who can't tolerate breathing in cold air. Still I survived last winter when the heating was off for a month. Having a gas fire in the living room and little electric blower heaters helped. Don't know what it would cost to rely on those this winter.

kibera profile image
kibera

There was an interesting programme about how cold affects people (not specifically those with lung problems though) on BBC radio 4 'Inside Health' 3.30pm last Wednesday afternoon. It will be available on BBC-sounds if you want to listen

PaulineHM profile image
PaulineHM

Living with ACOS and the cold affects me very badly, so the heating is on ! I have a heated throw which is proving to be very helpful.

Adding up the government heating benefits I should be ok to pay for heating through this winter in U.K.

Keep warm.

PaulineHM profile image
PaulineHM

Does this help ?

england.nhs.uk/blog/penny-w...

pattylove profile image
pattylove

assets.publishing.service.g... evidence based report is interesting, and recommends a min of 18Cparticularly in vulnerable people. I found the link between low temp and negative health outcomes such as clots and high BP even in healthy adults rather interesting also

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to pattylove

can’t open that patty

pattylove profile image
pattylove in reply to eleanordigby

GAH! I shall see if I can find a way to share...maybe it's because I am trying to do it on my phone?

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to pattylove

try this assets.publishing.service.g...

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to pattylove

ah yes that works - you had a rogue word “This” on the end of your link! easily done

LissacFrance profile image
LissacFrance

Low heating throuout the house with top up in room you are actually using. Costs have become horrendous. Here in France now paying same price for heating oil as for diesel fo the car! Unfortunately the house uses a lot more than the car!! Soon there will be a shortage of wool for knitting, although there appears to be no shortage of nits in Westminster, and elsewhere.

pattylove profile image
pattylove in reply to LissacFrance

You're not wrong! 😆

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to LissacFrance

We all get £66 a month,frm October to March,towards home fuel costs here.x

Izb1 profile image
Izb1

I live in a really cold house and it takes alot to keep it warm so will have to be careful this year. I have found that putting the central heating on when cold and using a halogen heater in the room I am sitting in to keep topped up works fine for me. I dont like it too warm but I also dislike getting cold, especially now I am getting older. We will all have to be careful this year but luckily we have had help from the government and wont need to get cold. I havent used much gas this year so have a chunky credit balance to see me ok to start off the winter and the monthly £66 will be going straight back into it as well x

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Izb1

R the halogen heaters gd Izb?howre they for running costs?There was a post last wk,I think,asking for suggestions xx

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to Patk1

They work fine for me and cost 6p per hour for 400w. I use two bars which is 800w at 12p per hour. So i put my central heating on for an hour with the halogen heater and the living room warms up quickly and stays warm for quite a while. I only do this for the room i am in and the central heating at least warms the rest of the house. I put it on for around 3 hours a day at the at the moment. I am not sure yet what i will be paying for gas as i havent worked that out properly and cant fathom how many kilowats are in an hours worth of gas lol, but I signed a 3 year fixed fee earlier in the year so am hoping it will be better x

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to Izb1

That's gd info for people,thanku x

bluepuddy profile image
bluepuddy

Hello Teddyd,

I would imagine that completely unheated would be a bad thing, as this would encourage mold which is extremely unhealthy. Also if your body gets too cold, you could suffer from hyperthermia. Your energy provider might be able to help with finance due to your health conditions. A dehumidifier that uses low electricity could solve the damp problem. An extra duvet and a hot water bottle will keep you warm at night. Put extra layers on in the day. Also have plenty of hot drinks. You could also, eventually, when it gets very cold, if you have central heating, put it on a low temperature, or just run it on a slightly higher temperature for a few hours in the evening when one is more likely to relax. An electric fire would use a lot of power, but could be used for a short time. I saw that you can get heated throws that don't use much energy. You could always turn off the radiators in the rooms you aren't using and use the dehumidifier in them to get rid of any damp. These are all ideas that I am adopting or planning to adopt, myself. I hate the cold !!

You will need heating of some kind, once the weather gets colder. Your health is more important than anything. Look after yourself 😀

ghousrider profile image
ghousrider

try putting your heating on low tell your power suply your health problems you go onn to they register for not having power cut of , plus see what cab can do have d/d for payment they can help you better that way , thats what i was told ghoust rider

bluepuddy profile image
bluepuddy

Hello again,

Have read that the NHS advise against going outside in very cold weather if you have asthma etc. I would imagine that an unheated house wouldn't be much better. Hope this helps.

jasmine451 profile image
jasmine451

“Cold homes can increase the risk and severity of lung conditions like asthma and COPD"

Cold homes could lead to a higher risk of breathing issues says a lung expert from the Institute for Respiratory Health.

“The WHO says an indoor temperature of 18 degrees Celsius is classified as healthy,” Associate Professor Moodley said.

resphealth.org.au/2022/08/c....

watergazer profile image
watergazer

I have asthma and bronchiectasis and I’ve noticed the colder weather is affecting me. My son and his wife haven’t been putting their heating on and my joints and coughing have been affected after a day at their house. Xx

horseygirl_0103 profile image
horseygirl_0103

I dont know a lot -but what i do know is one day on a very very cold frosty day my boiler decided to go down & I found myself out of breath & it getting a bit shallow & my lungs started hurting - I had to go to my neighbours house to sit by their fire to warm them up & had to phone my dad to get him to restart it before I went back in

JulyAugust profile image
JulyAugust

Hi Teddy, my childhood bedroom was unheated and had mould on the walls, sometimes ice an inch thick on the inside of the windows. I spent every winter with swollen glands, sore throats, coughs and chest infections and I’m convinced that contributed to my getting COPD. I remember when I was young I swore to myself I would have a lovely warm home when I grew up and fortunately that has been the case. We leave our heating on 24/7 in the cold weather, and it’s bliss!

pepparuby1 profile image
pepparuby1

very interesting to read the comments on here. I was renting a drafty cottage with little insulation the last two years I had 6 exasperations living there. I moved to a brand new home 8 weeks ago and my breathing feels so much better the thermostat is set at 18 now so the heat comes on if it drops as I cannot afford to get I’ll. just recovering from covid right now

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to pepparuby1

Hope yr feeling better pepperby x

pepparuby1 profile image
pepparuby1 in reply to Patk1

thank you it’s day 7 still testing positive cough from hell and weird aching in neck back and head!! I had used a rescue pack but realise it wasn’t a chest infection. I suppose it was bound to get me in the end. I’ve been vaccinated 4 times

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to pepparuby1

Do u wear a mask whn out? X

pepparuby1 profile image
pepparuby1 in reply to Patk1

no I don’t unless I have to I can’t breathe in masks

eleanordigby profile image
eleanordigby in reply to pepparuby1

ooo how lovely, I’m so pleased you have a warm new home just in time for winter, and hope you feel better from covid soon

pepparuby1 profile image
pepparuby1 in reply to eleanordigby

I’m so glad too I waited a year to move into this house and it’s in the Surrey countryside beautiful views I’m very lucky to have it.

alcgb profile image
alcgb

It’s very important to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, particularly if you have COPD. I will not risk my health by being cold, whatever the cost is & the six monthly allowance from the government, together with my direct debit should hopefully cover most of my monthly heating bill. I live in a village with no gas so my bills have always been high as my energy is all electric. I’ve been very poorly this year with necrotic pneumonia & now pseudomonas so can’t take any risks. I feel ill enough as it is, without being cold as well.

dianebow1968 profile image
dianebow1968

If the air is damp then it will probably effect your asthma, I grew up in a freezing cold house and was OK with asthma, it was the damp foggy which is a problem, so I also suppose it depends how bad your asthma is and what triggers it more for you?Hard times 😳 unacceptable fuel prices

Keep-positive profile image
Keep-positive

Personally Teddy, cold air effects my breathing , even popping into a room with the radiator turned off for a few minute's it sets me off coughing.With this heating crisis I've been trying to be careful, In the cold weather I always leave my heating on low during the night, but tried having the heating off, but I was coughing more "breathing" in the cool air.

Like you I have bronchiectasis and asthma

Maximonkey profile image
Maximonkey

Hi Yeddy, you should not sit or sleep in a room with a temperature less than 17 degrees. Take care, Maximonkey

strongmouse profile image
strongmouse

I did a quick check myself, but the conclusion of some is that research in this area is underfunded. Moulds are well known as a problem in respiratory disease, as others have said below. you may find these two of interest. The second one in particular I found interesting.

ctajournal.biomedcentral.co...

floridachest.com/pulmonary-...

horseygirl_0103 profile image
horseygirl_0103

I remember when my boiler went down & the weather was extrememly cold & my lungs were hurting so much I took refuge in my neighbours house who had a lovely natural fire burning .I phoned my mum & dad from there to ask them to restart my boiler - I was shallow breathing so thats how it affected me .Once he d restarted the boiler & the house was warmed up I was ok again

My main worry is these national 3 hour power cuts . I m registered as vulnerable with british gas & my local electrical supply so that i could get priorty

teddyd profile image
teddyd in reply to horseygirl_0103

Fingers crossed the power cuts dont go ahead. I am also registered on the priority register .

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