Did you know the air we breathe inside our homes affects us physically and mentally? Indoor air quality can be more polluted than the air outside!
Improving your home’s indoor air quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Skip the expensive air purifier if it’s not in your budget and do these six things instead to improve your home’s air quality.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
There’s many things that can contribute to polluted indoor air, some things we can control, some things we can’t. Gas stoves, wood burning for places (I stopped using mine), building and flooring materials, cleaning products, fragrances, candles, paint on the walls, furniture, outdoor pesticides and lawn care chemicals are all sources of indoor air pollution.
The goal is not to have a perfectly sterile home because that’s just not posible. Having a sterile home isn’t good for our health either. Instead the goal should be to have minimal toxins in our homes. It’s about making small easy accessible changes. Control what you can, let go of what you can’t.
Why is Indoor Air Quality Important?
The air we breath in our homes can cause headaches, coughing, sore throats, and other allergy like symptoms. Letting fresh air in your home every day can help keep you and your family healthy.
Simple Steps to Improving Indoor Air Quality
The easiest thing you can do is open your windows every day. Get the air circulating. If it’s too hot out or too cold, open them just a crack first thing in the morning and again in the evening for a few minutes.
What if you live in an area with a lot of car pollution? Pick a time of day when traffic is the lowest and open your windows then.
What if it’s summer and pesticides have been sprayed on the property around you? Watch for the time of day and open your windows when it’s safer. A few hours early in the morning or at night before bed.
If you have control over the lawn maintenance around your home, consider stopping the use of toxic chemicals all together and switch to a safer option like Sunday which uses nontoxic ingredients that are kid and pet safe.
Turn on Fans
If you have ceiling fans or a whole house ventilation fan turn them on while the windows are open. They’ll help to circulate the air and bring outdoor air in. Ceiling fans aren’t the prettiest but I have them in all the bedrooms and living room for this reason. They also help cut down on cooling costs.
Don’t have any ceiling fans? Consider buying some freestanding fans for the rooms you spend the most time in or a fan that’s easy to move from room to room.
Toss the Fragrance
Fragrance can lurk in a lot of places from our beauty products to garbage bags. Air fresheners and candles can do a lot more harm than good in your home. They can release chemicals in the air like formaldehyde. If your trying to cover up a smell get to the root cause don’t use toxic fragrances to cover it up.
Essential oils are a better alternative to candles but be sure to buy them from a reputable source. I personally use Plant Therapy. They have strict quality control, they test every oil and have specific kid safe oils. They even label with oils are pet safe!
Simmer pots are a great option to if you want a scented home. Throw some orange peels and cinnamon sticks in a small pot with water. Keep it on the stove on low heat. This is an easy option before anyone comes to visit.
Don’t Wear Outdoor Shoes Inside
Did you know your shoes can track E. coli inside? Think about it, we walk a lot of places that are not so clean like gas stations, subways, even just a stroll down the street where your neighbors pet just pooped and peed. Shoes can track in pesticides and weed killer. Do you really want to track into your home? Keep a mat by your front door and designate that the shoe drop zone.
Check ALL Cleaning Products
So many cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals. Many brands claim to be clean and safe for every day use but the truth is they aren’t. Lots of brands greenwash their marketing but just taking a quick look at the ingredients, these products are full of undisclosed fragrances and lung & skin irritants. Use of household cleaning products full of toxic chemicals can increase the chance of childhood asthma.
Ever walk down the cleaning aisle in a grocery store and get an instant headache or start sneezing? That’s a sign to steer clear.
Dust & Vacuum Regularly
Flame retardants, pesticides, & heavy metals can be found in dust particles. Create a routine and stick with it. Dust and vacuum at least once per week if not more often. Use a vacuum with a powerful suction and HEPA filter. Even if you don’t have carpets, wood and tile should be routinely vacuumed too.
Been thinking about decluttering but needed a little motivation? Well this is it. It’s much easier to keep up with a dusting routine if there are less things to clean around.
It’s easy to improve your homes air quality without blowing your budget.
- Let the fresh air in but you may need to be mindful about the time of day you open your windows.
- Keep the air circulating with fans.
- Watch out for known fragrances and fragrances in hidden places.
- Have a no shoes in the home policy.
- Read the labels on those cleaning products.
- Declutter to make dusting & vacuuming on a weekly basis easier.
Hope this helps you get off to an easy start in detoxing your home, improving air quality and living a clean low toxic life!
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