21 Home Remedies for Air Purification

home remedies for air purification

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors. However, indoor air quality is typically two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Home remedies for air purification can play a significant role in reducing the indoor air pollution that can threaten your health and the lives of your family.

Common Threats to Your Air

Purifying your indoor air not only makes your home cleaner, but also enhances your overall health. Indoor air quality is often compromised by dangerous pollutants, such as:

• Carbon monoxide – Each year, 400 die and thousands are sickened by its effects.

• Secondhand smoke – An estimated 15,000 children will become sick or go to the hospital with respiratory tract infections as a result of inhaling secondhand smoke. The chemicals in tobacco products can circulate from room to room, as well as become absorbed in everyday items, such as furniture, bedding and curtains. Older adults with cardiovascular or lung illness have an increased chance of developing other health problems when coming in contact with secondhand smoke.

• Radon gas – This odorless gas is a silent killer found in indoor air pollution, and is considered a leading cause of lung cancer.

• Chemically treated products – Carcinogenic chemicals can also come into the home when you purchase items made with synthetic substances and materials. Homes with gas ranges can become polluted with the benzene that units emit when in use [1].

• Household toxins – Common household toxins that affect indoor air quality include benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

• Dust mites – Dust mites and their waste can affect indoor air quality and cause symptoms in people with allergies.

Mold and mildew – Mold and mildew can have a triggering effect on people with serious asthma conditions or respiratory infections. For example, a thorough cleaning and reduction of moisture in your bathroom can prevent a buildup of mildew.

• Pet dander – Allergens associated with furry animals (cats, dogs, rabbits and hamsters) and feathered friends (such as parakeets and parrots) can lead to decreased air quality that poses problems for people with allergies and breathing problems.Home Remedies for Air Purification

Air Purification Home Remedies

One of the best ways to enjoy cleaner indoor air is to get rid of or keep out the things that can cause air pollution, such as tobacco products, chemicals, and excess moisture. Below you will also find an array of home remedies for air purification that includes outfitting your home with certain plants and embracing different lifestyle habits:

a) House Plants:

According to NASA, house plants take in carbon dioxide and release breathable oxygen that has a cleansing effect on the air. A study was conducted to identify the air purifying abilities of common plants found in households. It is suggested to have one plant for every 100 square feet of living space – spreading them across the house in different rooms.

b) Keep Your Plants Healthy:

In order to benefit from the effects of having houseplants in your home, you need to take care of your green companions. Practice proper insect control, watering, soil conditions, and adequate sunlight. Rinsing the leaves of your plants will also increase their performance.

c) An Aloe Plant:

Not only does the aloe plant have a reputation for healing, but it is also known to remove formaldehyde from the air. Protect your plant from high heat and place it where it will receive full sun.

aloe plant

d) Boston Fern:

Touted as one of the best air-purifying plants, the Boston Fern[2] acts as a natural air humidifier and removes formaldehyde as well. Keep the soil damp and the plant in bright light spaces.

e) Open Windows and Doors:

To keep air clean and purified, it is highly recommended to make sure that it circulates. The American Lung Association suggests opening windows and doors when possible.

f) Fans:

To remove toxic air buildup and help purify your air, place a fan in one window of a room to blow your indoor air outside, and face another inward to blow the outside air in. This is an effective way to circulate your air.

g) English Ivy:

Known for removing the chemical benzene from the air, the English ivy fights the negative effects of cigarette smoke, detergents, pesticides, and the off-gasing of synthetic materials. People with asthma and allergies can benefit from having the ivy in their home. The plant also fights formaldehyde levels in the home. Try situating a few potted plants throughout your home.

h) Gerbera Daisies:

Sit a pot of gerbera daisies in a location with bright light to take advantage of a plant that removes benzene – a known chemical linked to cancer. The plant also absorbs carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen over the night, which can also improve the quality of your sleep.

i) Mums:

Brightly colored mums not only add personality to your rooms, but are also quite effective in removing a cancer-causing substance called benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. Benzene is linked to most chemicals, plastics, cigarettes and off-gasing. Trichloroethylene is found in solvents and cleaners. The plants thrive in partial sun and with lots of water. Please note that these are annual plants that flower only once.

j) Spider Plant:

The attractive-looking spider plant is a common addition to many homes, and ranks high as a natural remover of formaldehyde in the air. The plant also gets rid of carbon monoxide and impurities in the air. Make sure the plant is situated in a space with bright, indirect light. It will need lots of water to grow.

k) Don’t Allow Smoking in Your Home:

Even if you don’t smoke, allowing the habit to take place in your home sends a multitude of chemicals into your indoor air. Secondhand smoke is responsible for respiratory tract infections, lung disease, and cardiovascular issues.

l) Clean Your Air Conditioner:

A dirty air conditioning system contributes to increased cases of bronchial allergies, asthma, stubborn colds, and dry cough. Sometimes, the ducts of cooling systems become a breeding ground for mildew.

m) Potpourri:

Possessing a cleansing effect on your air, potpourri is a blend of dried plant material that includes petals, leaves and stems that freshens the air. Other popular ingredients often added to the mix include cedar wood shavings, cinnamon bark, lavender leaves, rose pedals, and allspice. Set your potpourri in a nice bowl.

n) Baking Soda:

Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) can be used to clean your air by absorbing the odors that can trigger allergies and respiratory reactions. Set out opened boxes of baking soda in the bathroom, bedrooms, closets, and kitchen when cooking.

o) A Good Vacuum:

Since vacuuming your carpets sends particles airborne, it is important to use a good vacuum cleaner to minimize the irritants you put into the air. Vacuum cleaners come in handy when you have to control a dust mite population. To get rid of the dust mites that can affect your air quality, it is important to keep your carpets clean and free of dust. Some people are allergic to the allergens associated with dust mites that can linger in the air.

p) Beware of Dry-Cleaned Clothes:

The quality of your air can become compromised when you bring freshly dry-cleaned clothes into your home. The cleaners use solvents with strong chemicals to complete your order, and they are toxic to breathe in. Keep dry cleaned clothes outside for a bit before bringing into the home. Some people have hung items on a clothesline to decrease coming in contact with the chemicals.

dry line clothes

q) Ventilate When Cooking [3]:

Cooks in the kitchen need to make use of their exhaust fans or open a window when using their stove – especially if they own a gas model. The nitrogen dioxide produced by a gas stove lowers your indoor air quality, and has been known to worsen asthma and increase your risk of developing a respiratory infection. Cooking odors and particles can also pose a threat to other members of the household.

r) Maintain Your Exhaust Fans:

To make sure gas is vented outside when using your fans, make sure to follow proper maintenance of exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom.

s) Remove Carpet:

Adults and children with asthma are highly affected by air compromised with impurities. For people with severe allergies, it might be in their best interest to simply replace or remove carpets when possible. Carpet material is notorious for trapping unhealthy particles, such as dust mites, chemicals, pet dander, dirt and fungi, which can lower your air quality.

t) Clean with Natural Ingredients:

To keep toxic chemicals and other pollutants from filling your indoor air, you may want to change some of your cleaning habits. Try opting for eco-friendly cleaners, such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. These options have proven beneficial when cleaning a household, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.

u) Home Improvement Safety:

It is a must to open windows and doors when working with paints and other chemicals during home improvement projects.

Resources

[1] http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/types-of-houseplants.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephrolepis_exaltata

[3] http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/indoor-air-quality-47020101

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