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Asthma in certain houses!

Can anyone help...in my own home I am fine, but when I visit my parents place within 2 hours I am terrible, I can hardly breathe. They have a dog but it never bothered me when they had it in their old house its since they moved. They live in the country (opposite a farm) but when I go in the garden my chest and nose clears up, but when I go back in it starts off immediately :(

I need to know the best kind of dehumidifier or something similar that will work otherwise I simply cannot go there anymore as staying overnight takes me an entire week to recover :(


10 Replies

Hello! I am new the forum but have been looking at the site for some time. I'm afraid I don't know about the dehumidifiers but can sympathise. My daughter who has been fine with our cat for years ( we had it before she was born) suddenly after we returned from holiday had a terrible attack which resulted in home nebs a near hospital visit and course of pred and took over a week to get better. I am at a loss as to why this suddenly happened although our GP seems to think it is the most likely option as no infection etc at the time. She has also seemed to develop an allergy to dogs this year which makes visiting my sister-in-law (who has 4 dogs!) very difficult. Is it always at your parents or do you think your asthma has got worse generally - maybe your GP/asthma clinic would have some suggestions? Good luck and if the dehumidifiers work let me know!


Hi there! Nope my asthma has been BETTER this pastyear because I have been exercising even more and also a better diet!..It is just my parents house!! They are getting a dehumidifier so I WILL let you know what happens! I am still very anxious about going though this Christmas which is such a shame :(


hi malakite

is there any chance that your parents have any dampness or fungus that they dont know about,it could also be that the heating system needs checking,there could be something wrong in the house that only you are picking up on because of your asthma,it could be something and nothing but worth checking out for yourself and your parents,good luck and take care have a nice time over the festive season and breath easy



Hi Malakite and I bid you a festive welcome to AUK.

What type of heating system does your parents have in their new home, and is this different from their old house?

Does your parents have double glazing in their new home, and is this different from their old house?

Has the new home been recently carpeted/decorated.

Take hair,



Thanks Anne and Derek. Interetsing comments many thanks.

Funnily enough one of the rooms has new carpet (which is the worst room for me) and they do have brand new double glazing (does this make it worse, should we be leaving the windows open?)

The most interesting thing of all is that they have a new heating system from their previous house (where I didn't have a problem) It's storage heating. Have any of you had experience with problems with this type of heating?

Also they are in the country..?

They had a problem with rising damp (outside?)

The problem is with all these things its hard to pin point the cause but my parents think that the problem will be to buy a de-humidifier. Any suggestions? Also would it be better with the windows open with an electric fire or a dehumidifier and all the windows closed?


Hi Malakite,

I think you may getting closer to identifying the problem(s).

There are a number of asthma/allergy issues here:-

Sealed double glazing units are brilliant at retaining heat but they also prevent/severely restrict air changes (stopping fresh air outside coming inside). As a minimum, it is recommended that the trickle vents always be left open (better still, leave a window open, but be careful not to compromise security in doing so). A further problem with recently fitted double glazing is that the installers tend to use tons and tons of silicon mastic to seal the gaps around the windows. The VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emitted from silicon mastic are particularly troublesome to asthmatics/multiple symptom allergics.

New carpets can be problematic to asthmatics/multiple symptom allergics. It’s a combination of the carpet backing/glue which can emit high level of VOCs and the carpet thread/material which can also give off VOCs (this is the NEW carpet smell that can instantly be detected when you enter a room). Problems will be exacerbated if double glazing has been fitted, as outlined above.

Dog smells/allergens would also increase in houses recently fitted with double glazing due to the same reasons outlined above. Yet another contributing factor.

Now we come to the heating system – Electric storage heating systems can be problematic to asthmatics/multiple symptom allergics. Electric heating tends to dry the air too much (in comparison to water filled (gas fired) radiator systems. As those with CVA (cough variant asthma) will testify, the mucus membranes in the nose/throat are particularly sensitive and will become even more sensitive if the mucus membrane that lines the throat/nose is exposed to dry warm air thereby exacerbating symptoms.

So with regards to your original comment about your parents purchasing a de-humidifier and my comments about the type of heating system, you will see that this could in fact make your symptoms worse by drying the air even more.

I think if you were having problems due to moulds/dampness then going outside at this time of year could make your symptoms worse rather than improve them as you have noted.

All my points outlined above are recognised causal factors in ‘sick building syndrome’ and are well documented in learned journals for causing/exacerbating asthma and/or allergy symptoms.

I hope this helps a wee bit more.

Take hair,



Oh, BTW...

You may well ask how I know so much about carpets/rugs.

Its a wig thing! (I hear many of my fellow campers shout) LOL

Take hair,



I agree with Deek on the new carpet issue - my sister put in a new living room carpet and I had to stay out of that room for about 6 months until the 'new carpet' smell disappeared - even with the windows open it still made me ill.


Thanks for all the advice so far guys. Well the carpet is ove a year old now, so one would have hoped that has calmed down a bit, and let's not forget I get poorley in every room, but certain rooms are worse than others, the worst being the living room where the new carpet was installed 12 months ago (and new settes - does that have any effect too?!)

Dad is currently installing more air vents above the double glazing, and they have also purchased a dehumidifier yesterday, installed it toda, and my brother who suffers a little from Asthma but not a patch on me, is going round there for acouple of hours tomorrow to see what happens!..I wonder if it will be worse though if in fact it is the storage heating that is causing the problem because of a 'dry' atmosphere?

They have had the dehumidifier in one room today however (NOT the new carpet room mind!) and mum said tonight that the dehumidifer has already picked up overa pint of water in the room atmosphere..is this normal does anyone know?..

Finally, I have been reading a lot about personal ironisers etc, which lots of webites recomment (i.e the ones around your neck etc) but I wonder if these have good write-ups simply because they are their own websites and therefore promote things (obviosly!) to sell?...I do not seem to be able to find any positive things about them on these here boards?..Does anyone have any extra advice on this? I will try everything as I really want this Christmas to be good....My wife and I live in Nottingham and they live in Norwich so it's a 3.5hr drive ove rthere on Christmas Even to potentially have to drive BACK again the following day being Christmas and that would be a huge shame, especially as I need to spend some quality time with my sister who has breast cancer (at the age of 25!) and wants to only stay at home whichI can totally understand...sorry to burden you all with this but I really am panicking now that I am running out of optionsbut I get so so ill there, by night 2 I am awake all night making cups of hot tea to try and open up my airways, then by day 3 I end up feeling like I have the flu and my body gets so tired trying to fight all these allergies whatever they may be, and I cannot breath throught my mouth or nose, it's simply horrible :(

Many thanks for listening, and any advice at all at this stage really would be fantastic,

Thanks once again,




hi, we have two dehumidifiers, one up and one down stairs. The one upstairs collects about 1 gallon per day, so collecting a pint is nothing out of the ordinary. hope this helps!


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