How To Purify The Air In Your Home
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), exposure to air pollution is considered to be the biggest single environmental risk facing us today. Did you know that the air inside your home can be two to ﬁve times worse 1
than outside? Considering that most of us spend 90% 2
of our time indoors, this is a worrying finding.
Poor air quality is something that is relevant to all of us, so it’s important to make sure that your home is well ventilated and to try to avoid products that may release certain chemicals into your indoor environment.
What Are Your Home's Indoor Pollution Hot Spots?
Take a look at the picture above, which shows some of the common sources of pollution in your home:
The Living Room
1 Plant pollen
Plants and flowers can release microscopic pollen into the air.
2 Pet dander and disintegrated faeces
Cats, dogs and other household pets can spread this microscopic material around the home.
3 Furniture foam
Foam that can be found in textile-covered furniture can release formaldehyde gas.
4 Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves
Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves emit particulate matter during combustion.
5 Cleaning products
Household cleaning products can contain benzene and household fumes and odours that can evaporate into the air. Consider using natural cleaners, such as vinegar, lemon juice, boric acid, or baking soda.
6 Check the drains
Check that plumbing drains in your home have full water traps and are connected to a venting system. A sewer smell coming from a sink or water appliance is a sign of poor ventilation.
7 Gas hobs and cooking fumes
Gas hobs and the food cooking process itself can emit fumes, and odours into the air.
8 Bed Sheets
Our beds are ideal habitats for dust mites. These microscopic creatures like warm, damp places, and their droppings get fluffed up into the air when dust is disturbed. Wash bed linen and upholstery regularly in a 60 degree wash.
Large pieces of fabric hold onto dust mites and other allergens. Drapery, shower curtains, and bedding must all be laundered regularly in a hot wash.
10 Scented candles
Some chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde, which are found in scented candles can release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air as they burn.
11 Outdoor air pollution
Sources such as tree pollen, particulate matter and vehicle exhaust fumes can enter the home and may remain trapped there.
12 Air fresheners and cleaning products
Many of these products found in many air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, and other deodorising products may contain unpleasant pollutants. Try safer alternatives: baking soda absorbs odours and can be used instead of an air freshener.
Your Baby’s Nursery
13 Indoor heating and cold, dry outdoor air
This can take the hydration out of baby’s skin. Keep your home temperature between 18°C and 20°C. A humidifier in your baby’s room can work wonders for helping to add moisture to the air, which in turn hydrates the skin. This can help to improve dry and itchy skin and soothe dry eyes too.
14 Carpets, rugs and flooring
Some carpets, rugs, flooring and their backing materials can emit formaldehyde when new and potentially throughout their life. Environmental allergens, such as mould and dust mites are often found in carpeting with thick pile (fibre) and can compromise the air you breathe. Low pile carpets are easier to clean and maintain. Vacuum twice a week using a vacuum that has an effective filter. Certain types of vacuums have specially designed filters to trap fine dust particles, pet dander and other allergens, preventing them from being redistributed into the air.
15 Indoor paints
Some indoor paints can use volatile organic compounds, which can be released as gaseous chemicals when they dry and potentially through their life.
What Can I Do To Purify The Air In My Home?
Never allow anyone to smoke in your home. There is no safe level of second-hand smoke.
Keep On Top Of Your Housework
Keeping a clean house is a great way to keep your air clean. Giving the walls a regular wipe down can help to remove mould and invisible particles of dust and dirt. To avoid potentially harmful vapours, purchase nontoxic, non-aerosol, unscented cleaning products. Store household cleaners and chemicals securely in their containers.
Use A Low Pile Carpet
Environmental allergens, such as molds and dust mites are often found in carpeting with thick pile (ﬁbre) and can compromise the air your baby breathes. Low pile are easier to clean and maintain. Vacuum twice a week using a vacuum that has a good quality ﬁlter, which traps dust particles, pet dander and other allergens, preventing them from being redistributed into the air.
Use An Air Puriﬁer
Air ﬁlters and puriﬁers clean the air and can reduce airborne pollutants such as pet dander (ﬂakes of skin), mould spores, dust and tobacco smoke particles. However, some purifiers rely excessively high airflow to force air through filters to capture particles, often allowing pollutants to pass through and back into the air you are breathing.
The new Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link purifier fan heater is engineered for all conditions: fast even room heating in winter, powerful personal cooling in summer and intelligent purification all year round. This machine automatically purifies the pollutants it detects in your home, whilst simultaneously reporting the live indoor and outdoor air quality to the Dyson Link App.
The new purifier uses Dyson’s 360° Glass HEPA filter. This technology captures 99.95% of potentially harmful particles as small as 0.1 microns– trapping them in the filter and removing them from the air you breathe at home. It doesn’t stop there; sensors inside the machine detect changes in conditions, before automatically adjusting airflow to maintain the target air quality. The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link is priced from €599.99.
1 United States Environmental Protection Agency - 'Volatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality'.
2 Combined or multiple exposure to health stressors in indoor built environments,’ World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Edited by Dimosthenis A Sarigiannis, pg 9, 2013.