You might think that staying indoors is key to a healthy home and healthy life. With all the urban pollution, smog, and bacteria outside, it's better to stay inside, right? Actually, your home is worse than the outdoors, even with things like haze and viruses. Whaaat??? Yup, you heard me right. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this unhealthiness in your home has to do with your air quality.
Indoor Air Quality is one of the top five health hazards according to the EPA. It’s hard to imagine since you don’t see this happening, but your home becomes a host for dust, pollen, chemicals, and other pollutants in the air. These lead to health issues such as allergies, nasal irritation, headaches/fatigue, even more serious issues like cancer and heart disease.
Thankfully you can combat these unhealthy effects through natural ways. You don’t need to spend boat loads of $$ on expensive HVAC systems or some fancy air purifier. Here are nine natural ways you can start improving your home's air quality.
Open your Windows
Sounds so silly, but it’s probably the cheapest and easiest way you can get better air in your home. Opening your windows helps to circulate the air, which is crucial for air quality. Just be mindful if you live in urban areas that get a lot of street pollution. Open up your windows at times when there is less traffic such as early in the morning or late at night. Do this 2x a day for around 10 minutes each.
I am such a plant lover, and this is one of the reasons! Aside from providing us with oxygen to breath, some plants actually filter the air and purify it. NASA and other scientists have done multiple studies on plants and have come up with the best plants for filtering our air. The top houseplants for improving your air quality? Peace lilies, spider plants, snake plants, english ivy, philodendrons, and boston ferns are all great low maintenance plants that help purify the air.
Haven't heard of herbal clearings? You might know it as smudging, but doing a herbal cleanse is great for improving your indoor air quality. Research has proven that sage removes 94% of bacteria in the air. This is due to sage’s antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Due to the endangerment of white sage thanks to over consumerism, other antimicrobial/antibacterial smudging herbs are lavender, rosemary, and pine. You can find other sustainable cleansing herbs in my other post on the eco-friendly herbs to clear your home.
Did you know your home decor can help clean your air? Specifically your candles? Beeswax candles release negative charges when burned. This counteracts the positive charge that pollen, dust, and pollutants carry. The negative ions from the beeswax candles bond to the toxins in your air and help remove them. Plus beeswax candles burn clean, producing no soot or smoke like traditional paraffin candles.
Similar to herbal clearings, these plants can also be used in essential oil form. This is a great solution for those with asthma or other respiratory issues already who don't want the smoke that a house clearing can produce. Simply add a few drops of an essential oil in your diffuser a let this run for a couple hours in your room. Good essential oils for removing pollutants are lavender, rosemary, lemon, pine, and tea tree.
Activated charcoal has been used for decades as a safe way to purify the air. It was used back during WWI inside gas masks, and is today used in many types of automotive filters. Get a charcoal purifier online or burn active charcoal discs.
Whether it’s painting, cleaning, or air freshening your home, opt for natural products. Popular brands contain harmful chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that we can breathe in. Plus these cause a lot of toxic runoff into our lakes, rivers, and waterways. Switch to natural cleaning products (or DIY them), and use essential oils or smudging to freshen your air.
Most new furniture today surprisingly has a lot of chemicals. Cheaply made, most contain glues and particle board that release toxins in the air. That’s one of the reasons I like thrifted pieces. They often don’t contain those chemicals but they’re also better quality built (and cost less too).
This natural fiber has SO many amazing benefits. One of these is that wool absorbs and breaks down harmful VOCs such as formaldehyde. It also helps to relieve allergies, trapping dust into its fibers. Opt for wool carpets and area rugs in your space.
Try these tips out for your home and get a healthier home and healthier you. Sigh, now that's a breath a fresh air. For more holistic home tips, check out my other resources and posts.