Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality – Cleaner Air is Healthier Air
Breathing fresh air is paramount to good health and it is something that can be hard to come by . When you think of air quality, your main concerns might be outside your home, such as the pollution that comes from factories and cars. Valid concerns they are, but you should also be thinking about the air on the other side of your doors– the air inside your house.
It is being saturated with harmful chemicals that are found in cleaning products, furniture and various other items around the house. Various allergens could be contributing to breathing troubles, especially if you have any respiratory conditions. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple, inexpensive ways you can improve the quality of the air circulating around your home.
Plants Are Your Friends
When it comes to cleansing the air inside your home, plants can be a powerful ally. Their natural filtering abilities help remove harmful substances from the air, such as formaldehyde and benzene, and pump out some nice clean oxygen. But, you do not just want to choose any plants as some have proven more effective than others for this task. NASA compiled a list of the best plants for improving indoor air quality based on a two-year study it conducted that tested the effects of various plants on filtering the air of the space station.
If you want to buy plants for the specific purpose of better air quality, choose from the following: English ivy, devil’s ivy, spider plant, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, elephant ear philodendron, bamboo palm, reed palm, heartleaf philodendron, snake plant, selloum philodendron, weeping fig, red-edged dracaena, Warneck dracaena, cornstalk dracaena, Janet Craig dracaena, rubber plant, gerbera daisy and the pot mum.
For optimal effectiveness, you also want to make sure you have a good number of them As a general guide, NASA recommends 12 to 18 plants for a 2,000 square foot house.
Smell can be very powerful in determining our mood and how we feel, and when our house or clothes have a pleasant odor, it can make us feel more relaxed, cozy or what have you. Unfortunately, many of the products that produce these intoxicating smells are highly toxic and their pleasant fragrance could come at the cost of your health.
WebMD reports that one study examining a commonly used plug-in air freshener found it contained 20 volatile organic compounds—naturally occurring substances that can be dangerous when inhaled. Of these 20, 7 are considered toxic and hazardous according to United States law. But, these ingredients only need be listed as ‘’fragrance.’’ Many other scented products contain these chemicals, such as laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
Use air freshening and laundry products made from natural substances such as essential oils; you can also look for fragrance free laundry products. There are lots of natural ways to absorb odors, such as spraying vodka into the air (the alcohol smell fades) or placing an odor-absorbing cat litter in closets and basements.
Ditch Conventional Cleaning Products
Conventional cleaning products are stuffed with all sorts of chemicals that make the air in your home less than pure. As interest in green living and natural health continues to grow, cleansers free of these harmful substances are becoming readily available in most supermarkets. You may prefer them over homemade products since they are ready to go; they may also require a little less elbow grease than made-from-scratch cleansers.
If you are interested in making your own cleansing products, however, it is pretty simple and inexpensive. Baking soda is great for scrubbing. White vinegar, lemon juice and borax are great for disinfecting while olive oil works for polishing wood and picking up dirt. Castile soap is a great all around cleanser. You can find recipes all over the internet.