How Can We Reduce Air Pollution at Home?
When we first walk into a house or apartment, we usually don't pay attention to the air we breathe in. Unless there is a strong smell of any kind, we don't notice it and don't give a second thought that the air might to unsafe for us to breathe.
Aromas are subtle. Even without our awareness they will trigger memories and evoke strong emotions.
Any house entrance smell can impact your senses if the interior includes synthetic wall-to-wall carpeting, composition wood furnishings, and other products with chemical additives. A garage is certain to contain a high level of combustion by-products. An entryway that passes through a utility room is likely to contain paints and other products that emit toxic vapors. These are the main sources of indoor air pollution.
The heavy fragrances of commercial air fresheners only compound the problem because they are made with chemicals that have harmful effects on the human body causing fatigue, depression, and other numerous ailments. That’s why you should be using furnishings and finishings all made of natural materials instead.
If you are worried about having unhealthy indoor air quality, here is a summary of the best ways to clean air in your home.
Purify with Plants
A good air purification system will definitely help remove toxins from your surroundings. And some scientists believe that common house plants such as bamboo palm, snake plant, ficus, pothos plant, spider plant, areca palm, chrysanthemum, or aloe vera plant also cleanse impurities from the air.
These house plants have the capability to absorb toxins through their leaves in order to produce pure oxygen for you to breathe. If you want to learn more about the indoor plants that can clean the air in your home, read our post on the health benefits of having live plants in your home.
Spray Natural Air Freshener
In case live, green houseplants are not your thing, you may also use homemade house air freshener made with spices or herbs, or by cutting citrus fruits. To freshen a room naturally, bring in vases of flowering lavender or small sachets of cedar chips. You may also fill a small bowl with a pure essential oil from aromatic plants such as sandalwood or sage. Natural soy candles are also a great option.
Let the Fresh Air in
At night, open windows on opposite sides of the house. This will create current and circulate air. Also, leave the doors of all the rooms open so that the air in all of them is recycled.
Use the Exhaust Fan
When the exhaust fan in your bathroom is turned on, it helps with ventilation to reduce the moisture levels in the bathroom. It can then decrease the possibility of getting mold.
For Air Purity
Install an air filter on your furnace, in your ductwork, or just have it freestanding. An air filter will help cleanse pollutants from your home, therefore the indoor air quality will improve. Some filters are designed to remove air particles while others help remove gases. However, for the greatest degree of air purity, you will need to install both types of filters or use a filter that incorporates more than one system.
Your furnace probably already has a fiberglass or polyester filter that removes larger particles from the air. It is inexpensive and easy to maintain, but it does not remove smaller fine particles or gases. If anyone in your household has asthma, allergies, or any other respiratory conditions, if you have pets, or if you live in the air polluted area, you should aim for a more effective, higher quality filter.
The furnace filter should be changed every 60-90 days throughout the year. Experts recommend a monthly inspection of furnace filters to ensure that they are not clogged or dirty and are fully efficient. This reduces the risk of fire and also cuts down on allergens in the air inside the home. A quality furnace filter should be used, where those with higher MERV values are better. In addition, the filter should be of a proper size to ensure the correct fit.
Furnace filters are generally less expensive when purchased online, however, local home improvement stores and HVAC professionals also carry furnace filters. Furnace filters should never be vacuumed or rinsed and reused but a new filter should be installed each time.
Medium Efficiency Extended Air Filter
A pleated filter with a larger surface area catches more air particles than a standard furnace filter. Medium efficiency filters trap nearly half of all particle matter but cannot filter out gas.
High Efficiency Extended Air Filter
Known as HEPA filters, these powerful air purifiers are often used in hospitals. Cigarette smoke and nearly all particles are removed from the air. Because a large motor is required, a full-scale HEPA filtration system is rarely used in private homes.
Electrostatic Particulate Filter
The friction of air moving through the air filter creates static electricity, and larger particles are trapped. Although it will not trap smaller air particles, an electrostatic filter is very helpful for removing pollen and mold spores.
Electrostatic Precipitator (Ionizer)
Mounted into your ductwork, an ionizer turns dust into magnets and then draws it to metal collector plates. Large proportions of particles are trapped, but the filter needs frequent cleaning.
Turbulent Flow Precipitator
Particles are caught in a whirlwind of moving air and then dropped into a containment space. TFP filters are efficient for removing air particles but they do not filter gases.
Activated Carbon Filter
Carbon granules absorb heavier gases. Lighter gases such as formaldehyde are not affected. The filter must be changed often, or pollutants will be released back into the air.
Activated Alumina Filter
Even lighter gases like formaldehyde are absorbed and destroyed by the activated alumina material. Many manufactures offer combined alumina and carbon filters.
Small, freestanding filters let you cleanse the air without installing a major air filtration system. These portable devices operate in a variety of ways, including activated carbon, activated alumina, and HEPA filtration. The larger the air filter, the more effective it will be.
By eliminating common hazardous air pollutants from the house and installing appropriate air filters you will ensure that you have healthy air quality in your home for good.