Do Air Fresheners Reduce Indoor Air Quality?

We’re all familiar with how clean and pleasant an air freshener can make a room smell. Behind that enjoyable odor, however, there may be hidden air quality risks. Chemical air fresheners can increase the levels of harmful VOCs in your indoor air, reducing overall air quality. Here’s what you need to know about air fresheners and air quality before deciding to use one in your home.


What Harmful VOCs Do Air Fresheners Emit?


The list of volatile organic compounds that are emitted by common air fresheners is both surprising and worrisome. Chemicals found in these fresheners include formaldehyde, benzene and acetylaldehyde, among others.  The levels of VOCs emitted from an air freshener vary by scent, but most common air fresheners today include at least some of these chemicals. Unfortunately, these compounds are quite volatile and can easily be released into home air, making them a danger to indoor air quality.


How Harmful Are These Chemicals?


Long-term exposure to these VOCs can have a number of health effects. At the concentrations released by air fresheners, the consequences aren’t likely to be severe, but they are still concerning. Effects of these VOCs can include headaches, upper respiratory irritation and, in some rare cases, neurological problems.


It should also be noted that individuals already suffering from asthma or other existing disorders may see much worse effects than otherwise healthy individuals. Sensitive individuals are more likely to experience severe coughing or lung irritation from chemicals like the ones found in air fresheners.


Is There a Safer Alternative?


Luckily, there are two safer alternatives to standard air fresheners. The first is to use all-natural scents to give your home a clean, pleasant odor without relying on harsh chemicals. Natural indoor odors you can consider using include coffee, herbal potpourris and dried oranges.


Another good alternative is to use an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to keep your home air fresh. While this doesn’t actually add any odor to the air in your home, it can remove any other odors that are lingering around, leaving your air clean and fresh. Most importantly, carbon filtered air purifiers can even remove VOCs from home air, making it healthier to breathe instead of adding potentially harmful chemicals to it.


Some of our top air purifiers for odor and VOC control include:



By using a good air purifier, you can keep your home air fresh without having to add potentially dangerous chemicals to it. At the same time, you can also remove harmful contaminants and make your home a healthier place to live.


Have questions about which air purifier is right for you? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to provide you with answers and product recommendations based on your needs.