With the flowers, trees, and my husband’s allergies in full bloom, I have been thinking more and more about ways to detoxify the air in our home. Typically, I would consider poor air quality to be an outdoors issue. However, according to EPA.gov, most adults spend 90% of their time indoors and the air quality is often worse than that outside. So, it’s worth paying attention to what’s floating around in your home or office. Web MD cites some of the culprits to be “lead (in house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon, chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners, cigarette smoke, dust mites, mold, and pet dander”. It makes doing those meditative deep breathing exercises seem not worth it. While open-air living is not an option for the majority of us, there are some ways you can improve the quality and breathe a little easier.

Open the Windows. Having some windows open can keep the pollutants from being trapped inside. In the south, there are only a handful of days out of the year where I find it comfortable to do this. However, I’m making more and more of an effort to let some fresh air in at least for a couple of hours during the day. I do have to be mindful of high pollen days, as I don’t want to make the hubby’s allergies even more unbearable.

Keep Shoes at the Door. I’m still not on board with asking guests to do this, but since little one is crawling literally all over the house, Tim and I now remove our shoes when we enter. Thinking about everywhere those shoes step is a great motivator to adopt this habit.

Sweep, Vacuum, and Mop. Again, a crawling, everything goes in the mouth baby is a huge factor in keeping my floors clean. I try to sweep every other day. Mopping is my nemesis (next to cleaning bathtubs), but it gets up what the vacuum leaves behind… plus it works those pesky arm muscles.

Change Out Your Air Filters. We bought a big pack of our two sizes on Amazon and I set a reminder on my calendar to change them every three months.

Keep Your Home Smoke-Free. No amount of second hand smoke is deemed safe. Ask all smokers to keep their butts outside while satisfying their habit.

Clean the Fan Blades. Being 5’3, I don’t typically notice too much that goes on near the ceiling. However, those fans get nasty and they’re routinely circulating the air that we breathe when we sleep. Here’s a great trick for cleaning the blades without snowing dust onto your bed.

Buy a Plant. There are several house plants that actually clean the air for you. The top one on my list is a Spider Plant. It removes carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, as well as other impurities. Other options are Peace Lilies, Bamboo Palms, Boston Ferns, and English Ivy.

Eliminate Dangerous Cleaning Products. Unfortunately that nice “clean” smell that many of us associate with a tidy space is more often than not an added chemical fragrance. There are tons of natural options out there today. EWG is a great site for investigating your go-to agents. You can also make your own. Here are the recipes that I use.

Diffuse Essential Oils. Having oils diffusing in your home can do a lot more than just make it smell nice. Certain oils and blends such as Purify, On Guard, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Lime, and Melaleuca contain powerful cleansing properties.


There are of course other handy-dandy gizmos that will help you maintain better air quality.

Carbon Monoxide Detector. These are highly recommended especially if you have at least one fuel burning appliance, heater, or fireplace in the home or attached garage.

Dyson Bladeless Fan. Perfect for anyone who needs a tabletop fan, but doesn’t have time to perform surgery to keep the blades clean. I haven’t invested in one of these yet, but I would love to!

Dehumidifier. Web MD recommends using a dehumidifier during the summer months to keep the mold and dust mites at bay. Come August, I’ll wish I had a portable one on me at all times.

 

Please share if you have any additional tips!


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2 Comments on Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

  1. Very interesting and helpful. There’s nothing better than to have windows open on a nice, breezy day to rid a room of that closed up musty smell. That is one the first things I do in the afternoons and on weekends. A dehumidifier for my basement would be ideal and some of the models shown on your link are inexpensive, too. In regards to house plants, my boss has a spider plant in his office that I water each week. I keep plants in my work area, too, (none that are mentioned in your blog), but it would certainly be a good idea to check into having something at the house. I just need to remember to water it. Ha ha. I also like the fan blade cleaning idea. Will definitely try that one. Thanks for all your suggestions, Krista.

    • Glad you like the tips! I wonder if your boss knows that the spider plant is useful for closed air areas??

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