Low air quality in your home can have a big effect on your health, and mood.
Low quality air can be caused by a number of factors such as pollution from the outside, poor building materials as well as emissions from heating and appliances.
Poor indoor air quality has been linked to asthma, fatigue and lung disease.
There are many ways to identify the quality of your indoor air temperature.
The fastest way to check your home's air quality is by using a home air quality testing kit. These are relatively cheap and easy to obtain from Amazon or your local hardware center.
Home air-testing kits have improved dramatically in recent years and provide an indication of your air quality that is reported to be 80-90% as effective as an expensive professional test.
Whether you do a test or simply want to take measure to improve the air quality at home, there are a number of ways to make improvements.
We have created a list of 11 tips that will suit a range of homes to ensure you breathe better.
Airflow is crucial for good indoor air quality. Getting airflow through your house will remove stagnant air and refresh the interior air.
One option is to simply open the doors and windows of your home to rejuvenate the indoor air quality.
Of course, if you live in a crowded city, the air outside might be very unpleasant and potentially toxic. In this case choose the time of day wisely, early morning or late evening when traffic levels are at their lowest is the best time.
However, the best option for getting outside air into your home is via a trickle ventilator.
These devices allow air from the outside to flow inside through a filter that cleans the air of impurities.
The kitchen or cooking area is often the best location for these types of ventilators as cooking appliances and methods are a common way of introducing air pollution into your home.
The vents can be part of an existing window or door frame or can be a stand-alone frame that can be retrofitted to almost any building envelope.
2. Keep your AC spotless
Air conditioners can really help improve air quality in your home by drying the air in your home out and refreshing the stale air.
Almost all air conditioners contain a type of filter that cleans the air, removing impurities and pollens.
Like all filters in your home, it's critical to regularly clean these filters according to the manufacturer's instructions.
3. Keep your sheets and clothes clean
Dust mites are a leading cause of poor air quality. They can irritate your nose and throat leaving you feeling tired and lethargic.
Dust mites can often linger in the fabric of your homes such as bedding, cushions, and curtains. It is important that you clean these items regularly in low allergenic washing soap.
If you have pets ensure that they keep off your bed and sofas to minimize the build-up of hair.
4. Beeswax candles are perfect air purifiers
Beeswax candles have air purifying qualities, as these candles burn they release negative ions.
Pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and any other junk in the air carry a positive charge, so when a beeswax candle is burning the negative ions released into the air cause these positively charged particles to be sucked into the candles or to fall from suspension.
This negative ion air charging is the way many air purifiers work.
Beeswax candles are 100% natural and not only reduce contaminants in your home, they smell good and create a wonderful ambiance too.
5. Salt lamps can help with your asthma
If burning candles in your home isn’t your thing, you can achieve the same effect by having a salt lamp.
These lamps, which are created by putting a light source into a large mass of Himalayan salt, emit negative ions when lit.
These negative ions will help fight against the positively charged particles and contaminants that cause allergies.
People with asthma have reported that salt lamps have helped to reduce their symptoms.
6. Activated charcoal reduces air contaminants
Activated charcoal has been used for decades as a safe way to purify the air.
It was used inside gas masks in World War I and forms of activated charcoal are now present in many types of filters from recycling air inside nuclear submarines to reducing emissions in cars.
Inside your home, activated charcoal can be a fast and effective way to reduce contaminants.
Activated charcoal is present in many HEPA filters that you should be using in your home in your appliances like vacuum cleaners and inside air conditioner or other ventilation.
7. Bamboo, ivy, and other houseplants you need
Some houseplants can really help remove toxins from the air in your home, whilst providing additional oxygen. They also provide a great looking addition to any home.
But not all houseplants are created equal, here are seven top plants for improving the air quality in your home:
-Bamboo Palm - Dypsis lutescens
-English Ivy - Hedera helix
-Gerbera Daisy - Gerbera jamesonii
-Janet Craig Dracaena - Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’
-Red Edged Dracaena - Dracaena marginata
-Mass cane/Corn Plant - Dracaena massangeana
-Warneckii Dracaena - Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’
8. Make your own essential oil for your home
Using essential oils is one way to reduce bad odors in your home that are associated with poor air quality.
Choosing your essential oils carefully and using them in the right quantities is important for safe usage.
A common way to use essential oils as a way to freshen the air in your home is by following this recipe.
1/2 cup strong rosemary infusion
1/2 cup witch hazel
20 drops pine essential oil (Pinus sylvestris)
20 drops lemon essential oil (Citrus limon)
Mix your ingredients together in a spritzer bottle, shake well, then spray away!
9. Your furniture matters
Many items of furniture are made with glues that continue to release toxins into the atmosphere, long after they have left the factory floor.
This slow release of toxins can dramatically contribute to poor air quality.
Choose your furniture carefully to avoid this slow poisoning. Ask what production methods are used to make your selected furniture.
Try and avoid furniture made from particle board.
10. Your home renovation can be all natural
Typical paints and carpets contain gases that continue to emit after installation that can irritate allergies and lower air quality.
If you are renovating your house, make good decisions early to ensure a healthy home for a long time.
There are many natural options to choose from that don't contain these harmful additives.
11. Use eco-friendly cleaning products
A clean home is less likely to contain dust and other particles that can lower air quality and irritate allergies. But cleaning with the right products is key.
Where possible use completely natural cleaning products such as lemon and vinegar that leave no toxic footprint behind.
Industrial cleaners can leave a residue of that will affect air quality.