Most of us are already aware of the negative effects of air pollution and it’s clear that we could be doing more to reduce carbon emissions. But did you know that the air outside and the air in your own home or workplace are almost exactly the same? This means that we’re breathing in harmful levels of pollution on a daily basis. Daikin, who can help you find a more eco-efficient gas boiler, are here to explore how you can make the air in your home purer:
What are the causes of poor indoor air quality?
Let’s begin by taking a look at the causes of poor indoor air quality. An article by the British Lung Foundation noted that ventilation, temperature, damp, cooking, smoking, pets, cleaning products, and pollution from outside all build up within our homes. It’s worth opening the windows of your home for at least a little time every day, especially when you’re cooking. Check your home for damp too — this can cause myriad health problems, so you’ll want to treat it as soon as possible if found.
Sadly, as lovely as they may smell, scented candles come with more than a few health risks. The chemicals used to perfume candles for their scent can contain harmful substances like benzene and toluene. The same goes for air fresheners, regardless of if they are spray or plug-in. The fresh scent is achieved by chemicals, which you let into your home when you use them, so if you’re looking to freshen up, best stick to opening the windows and cleaning the home with natural products.
You should also be wary if you’re a fan of chemical spray cleaning products – the chemicals that they contain are dispersed into the air with each use. It’s better to opt for liquid cleaners that you can pour as much as you need. Consider other sprays too (deodorant, hair spray, etc) and only use them in well-ventilated areas.
How does air pollution impact our health?
Polluted air can be linked to a range of adverse health conditions. Also known as Toxic House Syndrome, the NHS have listed some potential causes for symptoms of this little-known ailment. Dust, smoke, bad ventilation, and inadequately maintained air conditioning units are all cited as potentially contributing towards the problem.
According to the WHO, the following risks are associated with toxic air in the home:
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Lung cancer
Though the impact of toxic household air is more apparent in poor and low-income countries, who still use solid fuels like wood, waste, and charcoal, more developed countries are still adding to their indoor pollutants.
How can we work towards cleaner air?
So, with scented candles and air fresheners covered, you’re well informed on how to make small changes to improve air quality. But you still need a way to freshen up your home without having the windows open all the time, right? Luckily, there are loads of natural air fresheners you can make, and they’re very easy to create. The Natural Penguin offers loads of great ideas — we’re particularly fond of the oil-scented wood blocks, they’re simple and would look boho-chic in a glass bowl mixed with some dried flowers or glass pebbles.
Plants are also a cheap and effective way to clean up the air. NASA has even conducted a study of the best air-purifying plants out there; try some aloe vera in the bedroom, or a spider plant in the kitchen! Ask your employer if it’s possible to bring some greenery into the office too.
If you have the money to spare, it’s a good idea to invest in an air purification system for your home. These powerful systems actively filter the air you breathe, capturing any harmful particles or pollutants and keeping the air as fresh as possible. Air purifiers can help lower allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as reduce the number of bacteria in the air you breathe. They’re also a great way to neutralise odours without resorting to harmful air fresheners.