According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans, on average, spend 90% of their time indoors (home, schools, and workplaces). EPA also notes that indoor concentrations of some pollutants have risen over time and are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels.
Neglecting to take care of the air quality in your home can result in Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer. However, before it gets to that, you can do something to improve the air quality in your home.
To keep indoor air healthy, there are several measures you can take. One of the best and fastest routes to clean your home air is using an air purifier. However, if you are uncertain about buying an air purifier, there are economical and natural alternatives you can try. This article shows you six proven ways you can naturally clean the air in your home naturally.
- Ways to Purify The Air In Your Home Naturally
- Solutions for Source of Indoor Air Pollution
- Effects of Poor Air Quality on Human Health]
6 Ways to Purify The Air In Your Home Naturally
1. Use Indoor Houseplants
Plants are nature’s best air purifiers, and they are the best to counter indoor air pollution. According to a NASA report (INTERIOR LANDSCAPE PLANTS FOR INDOOR AIR POLLUTION ABATEMENT), indoor plants can help to remove high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as organic solvents, cigarette smoke, formaldehyde, benzene, Trichloroethylene, and even possibly radon.
Indoor house plants such as golden pothos, Janet Craig, English ivy, bamboo palm, Marginata, and peace lily among many more are best in the absorption of pollutants in the air. To get the maximum benefits of these plant purification abilities, place them in different areas of your home.
2. Use a salt lamp
Salt lamps are another natural way to clean and purify your indoor air naturally. Salt lamps are made from Himalayan salt crystals, and just like beeswax are said to be natural ionizers. When the lamp heats the salt, it attracts water particles that evaporate off as salt solution, mostly forming negative ions.
Apart from improving the air quality, salt lamps are said to boost the mood of people and also help people with insomnia get better sleep. Salt lamps are also attractive and create a relaxing environment.
3. Try Beeswax Candles
Whether it is a romantic or family dinner, candles bring a soothing vibe. Couple this feeling with a candle that reduces indoor air pollution, and you will have a healthy environment.
Paraffin candles release carcinogenic toxins like toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and soot to your home air. However, beeswax candles are a complete opposite.
The reason particle and air pollutants float in the air is that they are positively charged — Beewax candles when burning releases negative ions. The negative ions bind themselves to the positive ion causing them to be heavier and fall to the ground. Added benefits of using bee candles ids they burn with almost no smoke or scent and can be economical because they burn slower.
4. Use activated charcoal
Also known as active carbon, is a fine, odorless, black powder that is highly absorptive. The use of activated charcoal has a wide range of medicinal and cosmetic use. Traditionally charcoal has been known to treat diarrhea, whiten teeth, act as a deodorant, and cure skin infections.
The use of activated carbon to filter air has existed for long and is known to have beneficial results. Activated charcoal not only removes unpleasant odors, bacteria, and harmful pollutants from the air; it also dehumidifies the air. When activated charcoal absorbs moisture from the air (dehumidify), it prevents mold and mildew from growing in your home.
The application of activated charcoal can be found in most air purifiers in the market. For your next DIY project, a homemade charcoal air filter can be a good addition to your home. For an easy to follow guide, click here.
5. Essential Oils
From sharpening our focus, boosting our beauty routines, and complementing our spiritual practices, is there anything essential oils can’t do?
Essential oils (most of them) have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that are highly effective when introduced into the air. Tea and Eucalyptus essential oils are good examples of oils that have been clinically tested to kill the airborne flu virus. Other essential oils known for their air-purifying abilities include peppermint, chamomile, lemon, lavender, basil, lime, cinnamon, and red mandarin, among many others.
Before you decide to use essential oils for air purification, I would strongly advise you to consult your healthcare professional.
6. Probiotics for Air Purification
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for human health. Probiotics are the good bacteria, and just like they help maintain a good balance of bacteria in the human body, they can also purify the air.
Probiotic air purifiers work by releasing probiotics known as bacillus ferment into the air. The released bacillus ferment consumes air pollutants like dust, pollen, dust mite waste, and pet dander. This keeps the air healthier with fewer irritants.
BetterAir’s Biotica800 Probiotic Air Purifier is an excellent example of an air purifier that utilizes probiotics to purify the air naturally.
Solutions for Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
1. Ditch or Minimize the sources of indoor air pollution
Before you begin looking for alternative ways of cleaning your indoor air, you should already be putting effort into minimizing the sources that cause air pollution. Always use products that are low in VOC, meaning they have less toxic chemicals. For more sources of indoor air pollution, continue reading below.
2. Increase Air Circulating by Ventilation.
It may sound simple, and though opening your windows will do the trick, outdoor air might contain pollutants, allergens, or pollen that you do not want in your home. Installing trickle vents will help to recycle and purify your indoor air from contaminants. Priority areas where ventilation would be super helpful should be noted for faster air purification.
Kitchens are a major source of indoor air pollutants and should be properly ventilated. Bathrooms should also be properly ventilated to prevent moisture buildup, which ends up being a source for mold and other bacteria. Attics should also be properly ventilated because they can trap heat inside your home, which raises the temperature increasing your utility expenses.
3. Clean Your Home Regularly.
Cleaning your home often will keep out dust from accumulating in your home. Vacuuming is particularly important and should be done thoroughly. However, you should not just clean the floors. Carpet edges and upholstered furniture also need to be kept clean.
Ideally, you should set schedules for when to change and wash your sheets to keep allergens and dust mites at bay. Air filters from your home appliances like air conditioners, furnaces, vacuum cleaners should also be cleaned or replaced regularly to remain effective.
4. Keep Your Pets Groomed.
Pet dander from animals with fur or feathers is composed of tiny flecks of skin shed by animals. These bits of skin shed can trigger allergic reactions in certain people. Because allergens transmitted by fur and feathery animals are very light, they remain suspended in the air for a longer time.
Keeping pets groomed is an excellent alternative to control pet allergens. If pets stay in the home, keep them out of the bedroom, especially for asthma and allergy sufferers.
5. Take Your Shoes Off
Shoes can be a medium through which pollutants enter your home. Pesticides, dust mites, pollen, dust, industrial chemicals, mutagens, lead dust, fungal spores and who know what else, can enter your home via your shoes.
Leaving shoes outside keeps contaminants out and also keeps your home clean.
Effects of Poor Air Quality on Human Health
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air, which kills around 7 million people each year.
The health effects caused by air pollution are serious. Diseases like lung cancer, respiratory infections including pneumonia, heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases can be linked to air pollution. Air pollutants that have strong evidence of human health concern include particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
To alleviate the negative impact of air pollution, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), launched the BreatheLife initiative.
However, at individual capacities, all of us can collectively help in purifying the air.
Yes. Bamboo charcoal comes from a bamboo tree. From being called the “black diamond,” bamboo charcoal is extensively used for water purification, removal of toxins in the body, and air purification. To be used as a natural air purifier, bamboo charcoal undergoes other processes to make it activated bamboo charcoal.
Yes. By using filters, air purifiers can trap a high percentage of bacteria, allergens, and other airborne irritants that flow through the filters. The filters can be made of paper, mesh, or fiber and require regular replacement for the air purifier to maintain its efficiency.
Yes. In addition to carbon dioxide, indoor plants can absorb a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene and formaldehyde. Indoor plants will use leaves and roots to absorb these compounds from the air. Microorganisms living in the soil of potted plants also play a role in cleaning the air.
Yes. Though vinegar has a strong smell, it can be used to soak up bad odors and help to freshen up a room naturally. You can use a misting spray to spray vinegar around your home. You can also pour vinegar in a bowl, add a wadded up paper towel to the bowl and place it where you have noticeable smelly odors.
To check or test the quality of air in your home, you can purchase an indoor air quality monitor. An air quality monitor will check the levels of allergens, dust, and chemical pollutants in your home.
Cleaning your home air does not have to be costly and can begin with any of the above methods. These natural air cleaning methods are cheaper and faster to execute in your home. However, for faster results, air purifiers are the best air cleaners.
Do you know of any other natural ways to purify the air? Leave a comment below and let us know.