With winter here, most of us are going to spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. Safe and sound, one may think. But did you know that the air you breathe inside the comforts of your own home might be worse than the air outside? Yes, while the tightly shut doors and windows might keep the cold outside, it holds pollutants, harmful chemicals and mold-causing moisture inside. Hormonal disruptions, headaches, and respiratory infections – these are but a few illnesses that can be caused by poor indoor air quality.
Here is how you can reduce indoor air pollution and improve the quality of the air inside your home naturally.
Say no to chemicals and artificial fragrances
Some of the biggest causes of indoor air pollution are reportedly the gases and chemicals leached by common household cleaners, detergents, bleaches and the so-called air fresheners.
So what is it that you can do to minimize the impact of such products on your indoor air quality?
Pay attention to the labels the next time you buy your household cleaning products. When buying detergents and fabric conditioners, look for fragrance-free varieties. Instead of using chemical air fresheners that release harmful compounds into the air, soak up the funny odors in your home by adding citrus peels, cinnamon or cloves to a pot of boiling water. You can also leave a bowl of vinegar overnight on the kitchen counter to absorb cooking. If you are in the habit of buying scented candles, opt for beeswax candles that are free from toxic chemicals. Or even better, use essential oils to scent your home naturally. When buying paints, look for low or zero VOC versions. And this goes without saying; indoor smoking is a big no-no!
Keep it clean
Keep dirt from entering your house by placing a doormat at the door and taking off your shoes before you enter the house. Vacuum your carpets at least twice every week and make sure that your air conditioning vents are clean. While dusting, use a damp cloth to keep the dust from spreading. Wash your clothing and bedding regularly.
Ensure proper ventilation
Ensure proper ventilation while cooking and while using harsh cleaning products. During winters, turn the heater off for at least 15 minutes every day and open the doors and windows to let fresh air in and clear your house of pollutants.
Fix drips and leaks without delay
Repair all drips and leaks without delay to avoid toxic mold from developing on wet surfaces. Always keep the exhaust fan on while taking a shower. Try to make sure the humidity level in your home is less than 50%.
Make use of the best natural air filters – plants
Add healthy houseplants that beautify your home and also act as natural air filters. Aloe vera, snake plant, rubber plant, and spider plant are all good options. The snake plant especially is said to be good for filtering out formaldehyde, a chemical found in some carpets, furniture and cleaning products.
Kurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about house cleaning in Plymouth for Professional Home Cleaning Inc.