The words ‘air quality’ usually make us think of the outdoor air which is, as we already know, packed with many different pollutants such as dust, smog, smoke, etc. However, we tend to neglect the importance of the quality of the air in our own homes, where we spend most of our time. Keeping your indoor air quality at the high level is extremely important, and you should start taking care of this today.
What exactly is in our air
You may or may not know this, but our planet is constantly emitting Radon – a radioactive element we’re all inhaling all the time. However, Radon stays mostly in the unventilated indoor spaces. Besides Radon, there are also many other volatile organic compounds such as:
- Trichloroethylene – found in inks, paints and paint removers; short-term exposure can lead to excitement and headache followed by vomiting and nausea
- Formaldehyde – found in paper bags, plywood, paneling, napkins etc.; short-term exposure leads to throat, mouth and nose irritation
- Benzene – found in dyes, plastics, detergents, tobacco smoke, paint and glue; short-term exposure leads to headache, dizziness, eye irritation, increased heart rate
- Ammonia – found in window cleaners, smelling salts and floor waxes; short-term exposure leads to coughing, eye irritation and sore throat
Now that you are familiar with all the ‘enemies’ here is how to get rid of them.
As already mentioned, we are constantly inhaling Radon, and the only way to eliminate it is to open all of your windows for at least 20 minutes at least once a day. This refers to both those who live in the countryside and in the city – make yourself get used to starting your day by opening the windows. However, those who live in the city should first check their city’s air quality index before opening the windows, to be sure that the level of pollutants is at its lowest.
Countless allergens, bacteria, and toxins can be found on our floors and carpets. And even though vacuuming is probably your least favorite thing to do, you need to do it at least once in a week – especially if you have problems with allergies. Make sure you get the one that has water filters in it because they are the best for trapping bacteria.
Air purifiers are a must, especially if the humidity level in your home is a little bit on a higher side, or if you have problems with allergies or asthma. If you don’t know what to look for, you can check online reviews and guides and choose your best air purifier for allergies
If you currently can’t afford an electronic air purifier, nature will always have your back. You can instantly improve the air in your home by filling it with houseplants that will absorb all the toxins and provide you with nice, clean and healthy oxygen. According to NASA, the best air-filtering plants are a flamingo lily, English ivy, devil’s ivy, broadleaf lady palm, peace lily, florist’s chrysanthemum and red-edged dracaena.
Detoxify your cleaning products
Here’s the hard truth: commercial cleaners are packed with fragrances, ammonia, and chlorine and they allegedly kill 99.9999% of bacteria. ALLEGEDLY. You can never destroy every single bacterium in your household, and making the air ten times worse to try doing so is just not worth it. Instead, opt for non-toxic natural cleaning products that have the same effect minus the air part.
BAN SMOKING INSIDE
Last – but most definitely not least. The biggest enemies of your indoor air quality and your overall health are cigarettes and smokers. And even though this is not a ‘stop smoking’ promotion, if you are a smoker, just know that, with each drag, you are inhaling more than 4000 different chemicals. Not just that, even those who are exposed to that smoke are not safe from them. All those chemicals build up on your walls, curtains etc. So, if you are truly concerned about your indoor air quality, stop smoking indoors and tell that to everyone who enters your home.
Once you feel the luxury of clean indoor air, you will never let yourself spend time in a stuffy room again.
[su_box title=”About The Author” box_color=”#faccce”]
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also likes sharing her advice and knowledge with people. That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.[/su_box]