Find out exactly how to clean the air in your home with these helpful tips. We clean our homes regularly – making sure everything from our ovens to our sheets smell fresh, but how often do we really think about cleaning the air? Dust particles, extreme temperatures, pets and even cooking can lead to dirty air – and these are all things that can act as irritants – causing sneezing, breathing problems and even headaches.
So how can we purify the air in our homes so we can breathe better, sleep better and avoid any unpleasant allergy symptoms?
There are many ways to clean the air in your home by investing in the best air purifiers, keeping your house well ventilated and even ditching normal household cleaning products for greener ones.
Here we’ll look at the many ways to clean the air in your home and the benefits of regular spring cleaning for not only your house, but the air in your home.
How to clean the air in your home
Unlike a dirty stain on the carpet, you can’t see how dirty the air in your home is, but that doesn’t mean it can’t affect your health. Cleaning products (which are full of chemicals), viruses picked up outside the home, and even pet hair can make us suffer from allergies or get sick. Here are six ways to clean the air in your home.
1. Fill your house with plants
Not only do plants look good on your Zoom background, but they also have some potential as a great natural purifier in your home. A study from the Journal of Water, Soil, and Air Pollution (opens in new tab) showed that soil in potted plants can help filter the air in your home, while more than 30 years ago NASA (opens in new tab)The Clean Air study is one of the first to show that plants can clean the air of organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene. Spider plants, English ivy and snake plants are some of the best options if you want to buy a plant to purify your home.
The obvious downside to choosing purifying plants is that you’ll need a lot of them to have an impact, and filling your home from top to bottom with leaves may not be a viable option. For a more in-depth analysis of the effect of plants on air quality, see our article: Do houseplants clean the air? (opens in new tab)
2. Use natural cleaning products
Have you ever suffered from headaches, fatigue, or eye and nose irritation after a good spring cleaning? It could be the side effects of using products that are full of nasty ingredients. Not only do we harm the environment when we use products that contain a range of chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but we can also increase air pollution in our own homes.
In fact, a study by De Gouw published in Science (opens in new tab) in 2018 showed that VOCs emitted from household products were actually much higher than US estimates—two to three times higher. So how can you stop releasing harmful chemicals into your environment and home? Eco-friendly cleaning products are a great alternative and instead of having to find a niche website to order the product, they are now more mainstream.
3. Try an air purifier
There are a range of air purifiers on the market that can improve air quality. The best contain a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that is capable of removing at least 99.97% of allergens down to 0.3 microns in size. Anything less than ten microns in size can be inhaled and can cause respiratory irritation, but a HEPA filter is capable of removing almost all of these small particles.
4. Keep your home well ventilated
It’s perfectly normal to want to keep all your windows closed during the winter months, but poor home ventilation can cause condensation and mold to build up and reduce air quality. Opening windows frequently can allow well-oxygenated air to enter the house and also release any accumulated pollutants, such as gases from cooking and other appliances. Try opening a smaller window during the winter months for at least an hour each day.
5. Remove mold from your home
Mold spores can build up over time, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. But how can mold affect air quality and our health? A 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study. (opens in new tab) found an association between subjects exposed to mold and dampness and those who were generally healthy but suffered from upper respiratory symptoms, including cough and wheezing.
Mold test kits are a great way to determine how serious your mold problem is. Kits can be purchased relatively inexpensively, and the results can determine what types of mold you have and how to get rid of it.
Cleaning Expert Lynsey Queen of Clean (opens in new tab) also recommends removing mold stains as soon as they appear. She says, “Use a natural product like white wine vinegar to remove any mold stains that may appear in the kitchen and bathroom.”
6. Keep your pets clean
Pets, especially those with hair, can shed dander in the home. Dander contains a protein that some of us may be allergic to. If you have pets and are allergic, it’s a good idea to vacuum your entire home regularly, including pet beds. Do this right after you brush your pet’s coat or bathe him.
Benefits of cleaning the air in your home
It may take a few weeks to notice, but science and statistics show that cleaning the air in your home can have numerous health benefits. You can breathe well-oxygenated air rather than potentially harmful chemicals, pet dander, and mold spores that have built up over time.
Cleaner air can also help those who suffer from allergies. If you’ve been using a moisturizer, conditions like eczema may improve, and if you own a pet, you may be less allergic to them. Of course, always consult your doctor, especially if you have severe allergies.