How to improve air quality in your home

Low air quality stinks! Not only might it actually be smelly, but it can also have negative effects on our health, mood, and more. In fact, poor air quality in homes has been linked to fatigue, asthma, and even lung disease. Despite what we may assume, outdoor air pollution usually isn’t the biggest offender. Indoor air has been shown to be 2-5 times as contaminated as outdoor air in some places. Household cleaners filled with chemicals, air fresheners, scents and paraffin filled candles can further pollute indoor air and contribute to poor indoor air quality. If you experience allergy symptoms, your home air quality could be the cause. Stale indoor air increases the amount of allergens floating around our homes – we’re talking pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores, yuck! Luckily there are many easy and delightful ways to defeat this problem! 

Beeswax Candles –Creating a welcoming and warm ambiance isn’t the only thing these guys are good at! As they burn, these candles release negative ions – making them air purifiers. Dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and all the other junk that can be in our air has a positive charge. As beeswax candles burn and release negative ions, those negative ions bind with the positive charged toxins and help remove them from the air. Such a cool process! Our family had a great time hand-pouring our own beeswax candles and placing them all over the house recently, a fun afternoon activity that anyone can do! 

House plants – In the late 80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted from certain liquids and solids found in our homes. Here is a list of some of my favorite house-plants that have been proven to purify air:

  • Snake plant – This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products.
  • Boston Fern- Easy to grow, good at filtering the air, hard to kill!
  • Bamboo palm – this small palm thrives indoors, even in the shade! It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be emitting formaldehyde.
  • English Ivy – so super easy to maintain even if you don’t have a green thumb! Provides additional oxygen while filtering out toxins.

Salt Lamps – I won’t be too repetitive because salt lamps work the same way as beeswax candles, just another great option for improving air quality! They are so soothing and relaxing, and have other benefits such as improving sleep and boosting levels of serotonin in the brain.

Last but not least – OPEN YOUR WINDOWS! Even if just for a few minutes, even in the colder months, this simple act can really work wonders for getting fresh air flowing and  flushing out toxins!

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