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Improving air quality in your home


Often overlooked, the quality of the air in your home can have a big impact on your health and well-being…

Modern homes have become increasingly airtight to help maintain temperature but this means that pollutants in the air have no means of escape. This combined with the fact that people are spending more time at home means that more people than ever are being affected by this problem.

The air inside your home could be polluted by lead (in house dust), formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon and even volatile chemicals from household cleaners. Even if you are otherwise healthy, exposure to these can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

These particles can also be harmful to allergy sufferers, children and the elderly and long term exposure can lead to health problems later in life including decreased lung function, aggravated asthma and respiratory diseases. 

Fortunately, there are a number of simple actions you can take to improve the quality of the air in your home.

Quit smoking

Smoking is the number one cause of pollutants in the home as the smoke contains over 200 known poisons like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. These can lead to asthma, pneumonia, cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Not smoking indoors will greatly improve the air quality of your home and keep it free from harmful toxins.

Bring in plants

Plants are great at naturally filtering the air in your home. Plants absorb particulates from the air when they take in carbon dioxide which is then turned into oxygen through photosynthesis. Microorganisms in the soil also assist in the cleaning process.

Different plants filter different pollutants including ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of low maintenance house plants which filter pollutants and are virtually impossible to kill.

Let fresh air in

Opening the windows whilst cooking, bathing or washing laundry helps to prevent the build-up of mould and mildew, which can cause health problems including nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, eye irritation and skin irritation.

And if you’re worried about insects getting in when you leave the windows open, just take a quick look at our range of DIY fly screens.

Use natural cleaning products

Swapping tough cleaning products like bleach and ammonia for more natural products can improve the air quality of your home. Harsh chemicals can irritate conditions such as asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis so switching to less-toxic alternatives could have a positive impact on your health.

There are a number of homemade solutions you may wish to try including baking soda, lemon and white vinegar. If you don’t have the time to mix up your own concoctions there are plenty of non-toxic cleaning products you can buy straight off the shelf.

Keep floors clean

Keeping your floors as clean as possible is a good way to stop pollutants from contaminating the air in your home. Some pollutants are walked in on the bottom of visitor’s shoes or pet’s feet. Your first port of call should be to get a doormat which can help to stop these contaminants from getting too far into your home.

Regular vacuuming will help to contain dust mites and pet dander and regularly washing floors will help to pick up any dust or dirt left behind even if you don’t use soaps or cleaning products.

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