How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Pollution around the home is emitted from everyday items such as paint, carpeting, furniture, air fresheners, chemical cleaners, rubber, cooking with gas and plastics. Unfortunately even though you can improve air quality by simply not using these items around the home, outdoor pollution is still a problem and can travel indoors through the air. This makes it necessary to take further steps to help reduce indoor air pollution as much as possible.

The following are things you can do to improve indoor air quality:

Air purifier

These are small to large machines with HEPA filters that are designed to reduce dust and air pollution. Hepa filters use activated carbon filter and are designed to filter dust, dust mites, pollen, smoke particles, cat and dog allergens and other contaminants. They can be expensive with cheaper models available and would need to have the filters replaced usually after 6 months of use.

Activated charcoal air purifier bags

These are bags usually made of linen and filled with activated charcoal from bamboo or coconut shells. They are inexpensive and an alternative to the machine air purifier systems requiring absolutely no electricity. They can last up to two years with good maintenance which requires reactivating in the sun after several months of use. Ideal for small spaces. They are also perfect for deodorizing.

Activated air charcoal can help reduce formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, chloroform gases and other pollutants. You can hang these bags or place them on a plate around your home.

Keeping windows closed during high pollution

Try to not leave your windows open in hot weather for too long. Follow local weather to check pollution levels so that you can be prepared and use various methods according to intensity of pollution.

House plants for air pollution

There are many plants you can keep around the house to help control pollution levels. The added benefit of using house plants is that they will use up the carbon dioxide and provide oxygen. The following are house plants you can use to purify the air:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Azalea
  • Bamboo palm
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Chrysanthemum
  • English ivy
  • Gerbera daisy
  • Golden pothos
  • Heart leaf philodendron
  • Peace lily
  • Red-edged dracaena
  • Spider plant
  • Snake plant
  • Weeping fig

Use an activated charcoal face mask

If you are becoming incredibly sensitive consider using a face mask with an activated charcoal / carbon face filter. Use this especially when cleaning to prevent breathing in dust which carries many of the pollutants as well as dust mites. You can also use these when outdoors during rises of high pollution and may be especially beneficial for those who are experiencing adverse side effects from air pollution. You can use the website to track air quality in your city or simply check your local weather for air pollution levels.

Control indoor humidity levels

High humidity should be controlled. You can check if you have humidity issues using a humidity meter. This increases dust and contributes to mold. Use a dehumidifier for this. You can use a dehumidifier machine or a cheaper alternative such as a damp moisture trap which uses crystals that absorb moisture. Try to not dry clothes indoors unless using an energy efficient tumble dryer. Humidity should be kept at 40 – 60% as these levels are ideal for generating negative ions which are important to help clean the air.

Use natural negative ion generators

Negative ions are naturally created in the air in nature which are beneficial for the air. When the negative ions are high enough they can clear the air from mold spores, bacteria, viruses, pollen, cigarette smoke, odors, pet dander, dust and many other harmful airborne particles.

Using negative ion generating machines may help with air quality however many also create a layer of ozone which is an incredibly toxic air pollutant. Finding a model that can avoid creating an ozone layer is difficult which is why it is best to stick with more natural options.

Use beeswax candles and ditch paraffin candles

Common paraffin candles are petroleum based which are both bad for you and the planet. Using beeswax candles are healthy and completely natural. During the melting process these candles have the ability to release negative ions which clean the air and promote the flow of oxygen.

Crystal salt lamps

Using crystal salt lamps are excellent for releasing negative ions in your room. The heat from the bulb helps the lamp to release negative ions in the air. These lamps can last for hundreds of years as long as they are kept under humid free conditions. A perfect item to pass down to family.

Keep your room free of electric pollution

Keep as many rooms as possible free of electric gadget as when turned on these items produce positive ions which pollutes the air. If you have a work / study room use this room to charge most of your devices making sure the room has extra measures to help negate the positive ions. Although it might not be entirely possible to keep every room free of electric items consider being strict with the bedroom as you will be sleeping here for hours on a daily basis.

Keep your home clean

Vacuum and dust your home regularly. Always use damp cloth to wipe dust and avoid dry dusting. All that dust contains pollutants. Be sure to get dust off all your upholstery. Use a good vacuum with a HEPA filter. You should also reduce clutter as this harbors dust. It is best to keep things in boxes or other enclosed containers so that the container can be dusted easily making cleaning efficient. If you a cleaning leaf from your garden or front yard avoid using leaf blower or any other items that would circulate dust back into the air. Instead of a leaf blower you can use a broom.