It’s not always easy to stay healthy during winter. We are susceptible to many things beyond our control – like that sneezing and coughing person who sits next to us on the train (or even worse on a plane).

Luckily, some things we have more control over, like making sure the air quality in our house is as free as possible from gas, smoke, dust, pollen, fur and mould–all nasties that are best avoided for optimal health.

Many people are unaware that their choice of heating may be responsible for increasing and circulating these pollutants and can aggravate certain cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

The triggers for asthma, in particular, are closely linked to our heating choices. However, according to Asthma Foundation SA, only a third of Australians make the link between heating choices and their health.

Understanding how different types of heaters, particularly reverse cycle air conditioning, gas heaters and wood heaters can negatively affect our health, will allow you to choose the best heating option to help keep you and your family fighting fit all year round.

When Dust Mites Attack

Airborne dust particles, pollens and other allergens are all triggers for asthma and allergy sufferers. Many conventional heating systems, such as gas heaters, ducted heating and reverse cycle air-conditioning, effectively spread these allergens around the house, and into the lungs.

Reverse cycle air conditioning and other heaters that blow hot air and reduce air humidity are also seen as major causes of itchy, red dry eyes, sore throats, and irritable skin conditions.

Mould Alert

Mould is a fungal growth that can grow in homes under the right conditions of dampness, darkness and poor ventilation.

According to a recent study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, exposure to damp housing is associated with 7.9% of the total asthma burden in children aged 14 years or under.

Unflued or unventilated gas heaters and fan-forced ducted systems produce water vapour, which can encourage the growth of mould.

In addition to asthma, airborne mould spores have been linked to many health conditions including migraines, rashes (dermatitis), sinus problems and fatigue.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lungs and Throat

While there is the perception that wood heating is a safe and natural way to heat your home, Asthma Australia has specifically warned about the impact of smoke produced by domestic wood heaters, and the particles from unflued gas heaters on cardiovascular conditions and our ability to breathe.

Breathe Easier: The Health Benefits of Hydronic Heating

Asthma Australia recommends radiant heating systems—also known as hydronic heating—for households suffering from allergies and asthma, particularly because it doesn’t collect or circulate dust, and helps eliminate moisture and mould from the air.

As a hypoallergenic option, hydronic heating has the following health benefits:

  • As there are no fans, vents or ducts involved in hydronic heating, dust mites, allergens, bacteria, pollens and mould spores are not circulated making it ideal for those with respiratory conditions or allergies.
  • Hydronic heating does not release moisture into the air or alter the relative humidity of the air, which prevents mouldand mildew build up.
  • It maintains a consistent heat that can be easily controlled throughout the home, or from room to room to ensure no sudden dips in temperature will affect sensitive airways.

Keeping yourself and your family healthy during winter can be a challenge, but hydronic heating can assist with providing a clean and safe environment free from dust, mould and other irritating allergens.

If you are looking for ways to help your family breathe easier during winter, Brinlex Heat will be happy to explain how hydronic heating works and customise a solution to fit your home or commercial premises.