In today’s polluted world, we can always tell the difference in the quality of air when we get out into the countryside and inhale the fresh stuff. We’re constantly reminded of the dangers of inhaling polluted air – it’s shown to be increasing the incidence rate of asthma and allergies and has even been linked to the suppression of normal lung growth in children, in a study by the Royal College of Physicians.
You can’t control the outside air quality in the place you live, but you can certainly do something to improve the air inside your own home. This is the next best thing to packing up and moving out of the city – so try some of these tips today and give your hard-working lungs some respite in your abode.
Place air filtering plants around your home, not only for the benefit of your air quality but to create a natural relaxing atmosphere. Astounding research by NASA shows that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air’s toxins in just 24 hours; while other studies show that they boost mood, creativity and productivity – great news for those who work from home!
Choose potted English ivy, chrysanthemum flowers, snake plants and peace lilies (be aware that lilies can be fatal to cats) to place around the house for their air filtering and stress-reducing properties.
Air Conditioning Units
They’re not only great for keeping you cool in humid summer heat – most AC units contain filters that remove allergens and pollutants from the air that passes through them. Invest in a high-quality AC unit and experience fresh, clean air indoors. Be sure to clean your unit’s filters regularly to ensure proper working conditions.
Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
You don’t want to introduce any more harmful chemicals into your air supply – so avoid fragranced diffusers and aerosol air fresheners. Instead, fragrance your home with fresh flowers, potpourri and houseplants.
Regularly dust and vacuum your home to remove particles and pollutants that enter the air. As well as carpets, remember to vacuum and shake out your upholstery and curtains too, as well as laundering blankets, towels and bed linen.
This goes without saying – smoking indoors is the worst thing for air quality! Especially if there are children and pets in the house, always smoke outside. Smoke embeds into all upholstery and soft furnishings, and the smell is particularly hard to get rid of. If you are concerned about the pollutants you breathe, the best thing you can do is quit smoking all together.
Although outdoor air can carry pollutants, it’s important to open windows to let it circulate the house every once in a while. If you live in a cold climate, keeping windows shut all the time can encourage mold growth in the home when moisture can’t escape after baths and showers.
Mold significantly reduces air quality and worsens any pre-existing breathing conditions, like asthma, emphysema and respiratory tract diseases. If it’s too cold to open windows in your home, consider installing air vents which will do the job without causing you too much discomfort. Try leaving the bathroom and kitchen windows cracked open a tiny amount for a couple of hours per day with room doors closed to prevent the house getting too cold but helping air flow in a small way.
Other Ways to Improve Your Home Air Breathability
- Try not to bring any food treated with pesticides into the home
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products
- Treat your walls with non-scented and, of course, non-toxic paint
- Water filters or water softening systems in the home reduce chlorine and other contaminants that disperse into the air
- Wash and brush your pets to rid their fur of bugs, dirt and outdoor pollutants
Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in full working order – this is required by law and alerts you to harmful gases in the air.