Did you know that the air in your home can be 2 to 5 times more toxic and polluted than the air outside?
Given how much time we spend indoors, especially now, it's important to make an effort to keep the air in our homes cleaner and safer. And when it comes to air, the best way to clear it is naturally.
Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation
A major problem for indoor air quality is high moisture levels, but regular ventilation can help lower these levels and clean up the air in your home. Trickle vents can purify and cycle the air you breathe, while exhaust fans can help carry pollutants outside. But the best way to naturally ventilate your home is with a combination of vertical windows and skylights. When you open both, a phenomenon called the Stack Effect whisks older, warmer air out through the skylights, making room for cool, fresh air to come in through the windows. Regular home airing with the Stack Effect can be as effective at purifying your indoor air as a Whole House Fan — without running up your energy bill.
Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most humid rooms of a house. Make it a point to ventilate your kitchen after cooking and your bathroom after showering to release all the steam and extra moisture in the air, as well as any pollutants that have been stirred up.
Consider Your Candles
Who doesn't love a good candle? Well, the air in your home depending on the type you're burning for one. Paraffin candles are petroleum-derived and release benzene, toluene, and soot into the air. Beeswax candles, on the other hand, don't contain these chemicals and do work as natural air purifiers. They do this by ionizing the air and neutralizing toxic compounds and other components. As a bonus: they burn slower, so you don't need to replace them as often.
Or rather, get a salt lamp. They act as natural air purifiers because their salt crystals help pull water vapor out of the air, reducing airborne irritants, pathogens, and allergens. Soothing to look at, Himalayan pink salt lamps are great air purifiers in terms of functionality and decor. You can even leave them on at night since their orange glow doesn't disrupt sleep hormones.
Greenify Your Home
With houseplants! NASA found that "Houseplants can purify and rejuvenate air within our houses and workplaces, safeguarding us from any side effects associated with prevalent toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde, and also benzene." Houseplants are the best natural way to counteract the impacts of indoor air pollution, especially if you or a family member have a respiratory illness. It's recommended to have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning. Want to know which plants work best? Check out our post featuring TWELVE types of houseplant that improve indoor air.
Plus a Few Quick Clean Air Tips!
It's easier to keep the air in your home clean by doing little things consistently. Here are five extra tips to help keep your home refreshed.
- Carpets are like sponges, so clean them often, especially near entryways. Pro-tip: use a doormat and take shoes off at the door to reduce common carpet toxins by about 60%, according to one EPA study.
- Say no to dry dusting: use a damp cloth to clean up and avoid breathing in dust particles that are lifted into the air while you clean.
- Regularly clean your air conditioner to help keep asthma triggers at bay. If you notice any drips or leaks, fix them ASAP.
- Opt for more natural household items and alternatives to chemical-laden items.
- Dry cleaning solvents can be toxic to breathe, so let dry-cleaned items air out outside before you bring them indoors.