Air conditioning/controlled ventilation: effect on bronchiectasis and asthma

Could any of you kind people advise me if the installation of a budget air conditioning/ controlled ventilation system in my home would be significantly beneficial for my asthma and bronchiectasis please? I am finding the damp air at this time of year (Oct/Nov) in UK is really upsetting me now. I am 80 on Friday 13th, and I have felt it much worse that normally this year. I am thinking of investing in some scheme to dry the air and control it's quality in our home. Has anybody any experience of doing this please?

Thank you very much in advance.


56 Replies

  • Hello, Eric, I have had bronchiectasis since I was a child and am 65 now.The only thing I can tell you is that cold and damp or very hot and humid air affects me. Also any air which is polluted by smoke or vehicle fumes. So I keep the house warm and dry at the outset of winter. Everybody is different and some find that humidifiers help. I'm afraid that I can't advise you about air conditioning systems except to say that when I am on a ship I have to turn it off and open the balcony door. I find it difficult to spend time in airconditioned areas, but that is just me.

    I hope that somebody who has found a good solution will be along.

  • I can't tell you anything about air conditioning but we use a dehumidifier as we live in an old converted barn and suffer from bad condensation as the weather gets colder outside. We only bought the dehumidifier last year and we find it works really well.

  • Hello Freefaller,

    Thank you very much. This is most helpful and is the way I am leaning. Could you please tell me which dehumidifier you use to get this degree of effectiveness (if you don't mind)? I just need to evaluate the costings.

    Thank you again and hope that you are well.


  • Hi, sorry not to answer sooner but have been to University Hospital Manchester and then today had a spa day with my cousin and her daughter. We bought our dehumidifier from Amazon it is an "Ecoair" and cost about £120. Since then we had to buy another because my old house which I am getting ready to see had a leak from a brand new loo so we had to get a de humidifier down in Cornwall too and we got what seems like a larger one for about the same price from Screw Fix. Both work brilliantly well. When I empty the tray of water from them I now clean the trays and dry them throughly so that there is no chance of any mould forming. On the "Ecoair" there is a clothes drying cycle too which works really well. good for weather like this. Can't tell you much about the other one S it is now 300 miles away!


  • Hello Sian (freefaller),

    Thank you for your helpful message. I have now bought a dehumidifier, also an EcoAir from Amazon. It was delivered yesterday, but I haven't unpacked it yet. Your tip regarding cleaning and drying the water tray thoroughly is a good one. I will remember this. BTW I was born in Manchester and am now retired (20yrs) in Cornwall!!

    Thanks again. I will report how I get on with my EcoAir in due course.

  • Oh where do you live in Cornwall? My place is in Wadebridge. I love it there but we have a larger place here. No wonder you need a dehumidifier. All these old houses in coastal areas get a lot of condensation. The way the weather is going though we probably will need air con everywhere soon.



  • Hello Sian,

    We live between Looe and Lostwithiel at Lanreath, a small village. We go into Wadebridge every three to four weeks; we like it. Our bungalow was built in the mid sixties. It's not so much a problem of condensation; more the effect the humidity has on my asthma/bronchiectasis. I am hoping that the EcoAir will help!

  • It should do, do not use the ioniser if there is one on yours as apparently ionisers are not good for asthma and Bronxhiectasis. I have been to Lanreath. Absolutely love Wadebridge.

  • Thanks, I heard about the ioniser problem. We like The Old Inn at St Breward for meals; do you know it?

    Thanks again for your help.


  • Yes love The Old Inn. Just thought I would tell you that I used my dehumidifier to dry my laundry today. Was fed with playing the Hokey Cokey with it. So put it all up in the conservatory and used the clothes drying programme on for two hours and managed to get my ironing done too! Of course once I had brought the washing I for the third time the weather was then good for 4 hours. Typical

  • I have COPD and have just ordered 2 dehumidifiers off EBay the small type that use tablets which need replacing . I would chance using a small type to start off with . you can get larger electric ones but they have a container that catches the water that need emptying. I had one but found it noisy and bulky to move and empty so gave it away toa family member. Browsing on the internet will give you a good idea of what might work for you. Joyce

  • Thank you Joyce! I have just had one delivered. I will report later on my findings related to my bronchiectasis.

  • Like you I have just had a birthday, now 74. My dehumidifiers are on the way, should get them tomorrow.

  • Hello Eric, I'm sitting at my friends and it's evening time. My poor friend has turned the heading on then off then on but slightly lower heat. Then that got too hot and I feel such a nuisance all coz I've got COPD and struggle with this air getting colder for winter time. As I write this I'm by the blooming window which I've had to open !!! If u hear of any good ideas to help us poor strugglers, do pass on the info. It drives me mad and I frequently have periods of not going out as I panic about all the different room temperatures in shops etc.

  • Hello SqirrelsHolt,

    I have been saying to my wife that soon I will not be able to go out into these inhospitable conditions. One can control to some extent the atmosphere in ones own home, but outside and in someone elses home it is more difficult! At present I am investigating my way forward towards controlling the moisture in the air of my home; whether it be air conditioning or "just" dehumidifying which I guess is cheaper.

    I'll post on here my conclusions and results later.



  • Happy 80th for Friday Eric :) I can't help with your problem though, I'm the opposite, can't stand dry heat. Are you doing anything special for your Birthday?

    Kind Regards,


  • Hello Kay,

    Good to hear from you! I live in Cornwall so my daughter and her husband are coming down from Leicester to take us to dinner! Thank you for your good wishes.

    Hope you are well.


  • Hi Eric Isuffer from copd can only say for myself but I can't stand air conditioning in the car seem to make my breathing worse have to have the window open. Happy 80th for your birthday xxx

  • Hello pegbl,

    Thanks for your good wishes. What is becoming clear is that we are all different and our lungs respond accordingly. I really suffer at this time of year, especially here in Cornwall where it tends to have damp mist coming in from the sea when it is mild, as it is at the moment. I am thinking dehumififying is a good idea.

    Keep well


  • We go down to Devon a lot and have found in the past that the day after we get down there I have a dry cough, when I got back I spoke to my respiratory nurse and she said if I have air con in the car to use it as it has filters in it so the air is kept cool and cleans the traffic fumes out if you keep it on recirculate. So the next time we tried it and it does work.

  • Hi Eric,I can only say that I could not live without my air con.Mind you,I do live in Queensland!

    But when visiting someone,whom doesn't have it,I can't wait to get home!

    At times,when breathing is hard,I have stood right in front of it,& gulped in the cold air,till I feel normal again! xxx

  • PS.A very Happy Birthday to you!


  • A big "Thank you" for your wishes. I am REALLY enjoying talking to the people on this forum! You are so friendly and helpful.

    Kind regards, Eric.

  • Hello Wendells,

    Thank you for that - I live in Cornwall, England. I definitely need either humidity control or air conditioning and I am trying to decide which way to go. The cheapest option is appealing at the moment, but I do like the idea of air con.

    Thanks again.


  • You can get a portable air con unit , just wheel it about from room to room, they are good.

  • Thanks Mick! I hadn't heard of those. I do have two dehumidifiers now though, a £200 one and a £100 one. I would spend more now and get two £200 ones if I were to start again though. These get the humidity down much lower in a much shorter time.

    Thanks for your help Mick.


  • Hello Wendells,

    My apologies, I sent you a reply thanking you for your kind advice and it seems to have got lost in the ether somewhere! My only concern is the cost of installing air con in the UK. We live in a bunglow in Cornwall and we get sea mist coming in, especially in mild weather, which we have had so far this Autumn. This upsets me badly, so I am struggling between a full air con system or "just" a dehumidifier. I am leaning towards the latter for cost reasons, unless someone advises against this. My health is the main consideration as my wife is much younger than I, but we do have budgetary constraints. Herein lies my dilemma!

    Thank you again.

    Kind regards, Eric.

  • I am the same way. Can't wait to get home if there is no AC.

  • Hi Eric firstly a very happy birthday for your big 80. I live in a bungalow which suffered from condensation. Last year we bought an E Bac dehumidifier, I would not be without it, it takes a great deal of water out of the air and I as an asthmatic find it easier to breathe we phoned E Bac first got the number of the internet and had a chat, very helpful people. Hope this helps a bit

  • Hello starveycat,

    Thank you for your good wishes! I also live in a bungalow which suffers, not terribly badly, but still suffers from condensation. I have been thinking about some form of ventilation/air purifier/air conditioner for some time, and it is just a question now of what to go for. E Bac now goes straight to the top of my list thanks to you. Cost is a big consideration of course, but having a younger wife, my health is even more important.

    Your advice helps a lot! Many thanks!

    Kind regards,


  • Hi starveycat,

    Thanks again for your helpful reply to my question. Due to the fantastic resonse I have had with help, I have decided that I will buy a dehumidifier and air purifier combined, the EcoAir DC202. It is quite new but is very well rated. I'll let you all know how I get on with it!

    Thanks again for your help.



  • Hi Eric, I've just bought an Aero 360 2-in-1 Moisture Absorber. £9.99 from Robert Dyas. Hope this helps, Chris x

  • Hi chopsticks I ordered 2 of the same type yesterday with 2 refills for just under £20 .

  • Hello chopsticks,

    Thank you for that! I'll put it on my list. One thing which does worry me though is that it seems that the less you pay, the more work is involved emptying and changing filters etc. Have you found the same to be true? Perhaps you could give us an update when you have tried it? Thanks again for your help.

    Regards, Eric.

  • I would be more inclined to buy a dehumidifier than air conditioner. I had one at my first 1933 house and in the damp months I was empting it twice daily. But it helped me and my son who is asthmatic .

    They make about the same noise as a small fridge (that is more or less what they are) but we had ours on the landing. They do do some that you can tube the water out to a waste. Which means you never need to empty it. But to be honest it is not a major problem as they turn off when full.

    I am now in a 2003 house and need to put bowls of water in the house as it is so dry ?

    One point about air conditioner is they need to be cleaned as they can harbour bugs that can upset lungs. I had that at work a lot of staff had problems and when the union said they were going to inspect it it was serviced and we all stopped getting ill so much?

    Be Well

  • Hello Offcut,

    Thank you for your help! I am leaning towards a dehumidifier, so now it is "just" a question of how much I "need" to spend to get results. I would prefer one of the type you mentioned which have the facility to have the waste water piped outside. I wonder if these are much more expensive? I can research that online. I expect that the size of the unit will be dependent on the cubic footage of our bungalow. Anyway, you were most helpful in your advice and I do thank you very sincerely.

    Keep well!

    Kind regards,


  • The one I had was a well known one whose name eludes me ( Age :) )

    But their tube can be extended to a longer tube for permanent drain.

  • Thanks Offcut! Does EcoAir ring any bells? I'm looking at the EcoAir DC202 which has dehumidifier and air furification system in one unit. Sounds great to me. Thank you for your help.



  • Might be a good place to compare what is out there.

    That one you mentioned seems like a good one but it appears you have to refit the filters when you buy it?

  • Hi Offcut,

    It took me a while to get an answer to this question, but now I have it! Apparently, the three main filters are packed into the machine still in their protective wrappers/bags, so you need to take the filter panel off at the back, take the filters out and reposition them in place. It is very easy I am told.

    Thanks for raising that one; it's probably saved me a lot of frustration when I get it!!

    Best regards,


  • I was going to say about cleaning filters on any of these things but Offcut got in before me. Also, when you have the car serviced have the air conditioning serviced at the recommended time as the filters need to be changed and could harbour moulds and things as cars get damp in winter when not being run. I can't stand hot humid weather or very cold air, we are all different. My house is very dry and suits me fine but I do like to be warm (not hot).

  • Hello HampshireLass,

    I like to be warm (not hot) too!! I take your point about the car air con. I never bothered with this as it just doesn't get warm (when used for cooling) but perhaps in view of what you say, I do need to have it serviced!!

    I am most sensitive to dampness, and I am finding this mild high humidity air in Cornwall at the moment very difficult to cope with (relatively - I am not exactly on my last legs!). I do feel that it can not be doing my bronchictasis any good long term though!

    Anyway, thank you for your help.

    Kind regards,


  • Wishing you a very Happy 80th Birthday Eric :D

    There is some good advice here about air conditioning. personally, I would go for an easy to maintain one with filters.

  • Thank you so much Azure!

  • Hi Eric, I have bronchiectasis and I have air con. I do not use it all the time (only when the weather is very hot or extremely cold) I do not have any side effects from it. It also cleans the air as it has an ioniser control too. However, I must point out it was not cheap and it is a permanent fixture, not mobile. Mobile AC units did not help with the heat at all and were a real bother as they need to be filled with ice and then required emptying. I wish you well and hope you find what you need soon. Maximonkey

  • Hello Maximonkey,

    Thank you for your help! The point you make about expense of the air con is what has been concerning me. I don't mind the permanent fixture aspect, but installation costs do worry me, hence my leaning towards dehumidifiers at the moment. The only real drawback I think is that they do not offer the air purification that air con systems seem to do. And I do like the idea of temperature control. My bronchiectasis is sensitive to damp air and dust (and other air contaminents). Maybe aircon is better, but for the cost......

    Thanks anyway for giving me something extra to think about. Most helpful.



  • Hi Eric, Dehumidifiers, as I understand them, just remove moisture from the air, they do not purify it in any way. If you do go down the air con route I found it almost impossible to get any salesmen (most of the companies only deal with companies as air con in this country in homes is in its infancy) to come to my flat until I realised it was the cost implication, they thought I could not afford a proper air con. Once I told a local firm I wanted a ball park figure which was (in my case £5,000 because it covers all the flat) and I agreed I was still interested they came and they were marvellous. If you need any other advice please do not hesitate. Take care and good luck. Maximonkey

  • Hi Maximonkey,

    Thanks for this extra help. I am actually looking at a EcoAir DC202 dehumidifier, which dehumidifies and has a 5 stage air purification system. This seems to be a sensible option to try at the moment, keeping the aircon option (with it's extra cost and "disturbance") open for later. I too think it is wise to have both dehumification and air purification, so I think I will go for this. I'll keep you posted on the results.

    Thanks again.



  • Hi Eric, I hope this works for you, it does sound impressive. Take care of yourself. Maximonkey

  • Thanks again!


  • I live in the states and I have bronchiectasis. I seem to do better in the summer months with air conditioning. I also have room air purifiers. They do a great job of cleaning the air. I am amazed at the amount of dust in the filters when I change them. Also our heating system has a filter that we change regularly.

  • Great, thank you. All this really does support my need to get a decent dehumidifier/air purifier.

    Thank you for all your help.

    Best regards,


  • Hello Beth,

    Thank you for replying and your advice! Air con is not yet as common here as it is in the USA, so it seems to be very expensive. I am thinking of ordering a good dehumidifier/air purifier combination from Amazon (the EcoAir DC202) which seems to be a very useful step for me in the right direction. I hope it is as good as the reviews claim it to be!

    Thanks again for your help and I will report on here my results.

    Kind regards,


  • Hello Eric

    We live on the Isle of Wight in a bungalow which has some damp but not too bad. We bought a small dehumidifier last year but found that it filled up very quickly and wasn't really sufficient. So as i have had so many problems with my asthma this year we bought a electri@ one for £130. This shows the humidity percentage which has been quite surprising. Humidity should be between 40% and 50% but sometimes if we haven't had it in our bedroom for a couple of days it goes to almost 70%. For what it's worth i wouldn't be without it and if you got one and didn't get on with it i'm sure you could sell it quite easily. We have to empty it quite regularly but you dont have to wait til it's full to empty it so it doesn't have to be heavy.

    Hope you find something that suits.

    Happy 80th for Friday, have a good meal x

  • Hello nat-tat,

    Thank you for your help. This experience is perfect fot me and confirms my suspicions that economy units are not for me, so I think that I am going to buy myself a Birthday present - a EcoAir DC202 hybrid dehumidifier/air purifier combination at £220 delivered (Amazon UK). I know it's a high price, but after all the help I have had on here, I am fairly sure this is what I need, as a first option at least. I will try this and report back. I will see how we get on (my wife is only 57 so she will do the water carrying. She actually insists on this!!!). Yes, I am very lucky to have such a great wife.

    Thank you for your very higly valued help. Thank you also for your best wishes for tomorrow!

    Kind Regards,


  • Hello Natassa,

    Thank you for your Birthday wishes!

    I have just (today) received my chosen dehumidifier/air purifier and have not opened it yet, and I will report my findings in a few days, but in answer to your questions, from what my research has discovered, most of these units are available in portable form so that they can be easily moved from room to room, but can be positioned in any central position. To be the most effective they should be placed in a position in the house which is as open as possible to the rooms around, so I am anticipating needing to keep the doors open for best effect, and the windows closed.

    I too, like you, have found this past four or five weeks to be troublesome from the high humidity, and believe that this should be beween 30 and 40% ideally. I will be aiming between 30 and 50% initially to see what difference this makes. One thing I can say with certainty is that the humidity in your house is too high and you do need to consider a dehumidifier. You can get them from £10 as I am told in the Forum. They are in two types, firstly those based on passing the air through crystals of "dessicant" which dehydrate the air. The resulting water drains into a tank which needs to be emptied regularly, and the dessicant needs replacing frequently. These are generally the cheaper ones. Then there are ones based on a small refrigerater unit which remove the water from the air mechanically, not involving any dessicant crystals. These are larger and generally more expensive but are still portable. This is the type I have chosen and mine cost me £200. I thought this would give me the best performance for the least effort. It is still necessary to empty the water tank, but only every couple of days after the initial dehumidified level has been reached.

    I will report later on the effectiveness of this.

    Best wishes,


You may also like...