There is a long list of things that singers do to their homes to keep their vocal tract tracts healthy. Humidifying. Dusting. Regularly washing sheets. Allergen-proof pillow cases. You name it. But I recently discovered I had been overlooking something big. It’s super cheap to fix, and has had a big impact on my vocal health. Once I fixed it, I haven’t had morning sniffles.
Most homes and apartments have an air system which has an air filter you can change out. However, this filter is located where the central air system begins, often the basement or a utility closet. After the central filter, there are tens or hundreds of feet of air ducts which, if you’re brave enough to take a look, are guaranteed to be chock full of dust and allergens. It’s unavoidable…even if you DO change your central air filter regularly! Over time, that central air filter will have missed a great deal of airborne allergens, dust, and gunk. And that’s when it’s clean. And let’s be real: how many of us actually change our central air filter every month??
Now take a look at the grates on your air vents. Those little things on the floor or in the walls that you ignore every day. Notice how the edges are coated in a light gray film? That’s what’s getting inside your vocal tract. Everything you see on the outside of the grate is just a fraction of the crud that’s made its way into your body. Yikes.
Here’s the solution I came up with. Super cheap filters inside the grates that cover your air ducts.
That’s it. A simple, cheap, and fast solution which has had a profound impact on me as a singer. Between the two filters (the central filter and the grate filter), the allergens and dust get trapped.
Now, I don’t wake up with sniffles any more. Airborne allergens, dust, and whatever other crud that lies in my air ducts? It’s not making it into my throat any longer. It has almost totally eliminated the days where I wake up and have to fight mucus or a sore throat.
I hope this helps other singers out there, or maybe those of you who deal with asthma or similar issues where air quality plays a big part of your daily life.
December 12, 2017