Clean air in the home is essential for maintaining good long-term health. Even if you think the air in your home is clean, there’s a good chance that it’s contaminated with dust, mold spores, VOCs and other impurities that work their way into your lungs on a daily basis. If you want to achieve better home air quality, you’ll need to proactively take steps to remove these contaminants. Here are some of the best ways to clean the air in your house so that you can experience better health through improved air quality.
Pay More Attention to Ventilation
One of the simplest ways to improve your indoor air quality is to ventilate your house sensibly. Bringing in fresh air from outside can help flush out VOCs, mold spores and other contaminants that accumulate inside the home. One important component of this that is often overlooked is kitchen ventilation. Since cooking fumes can drastically reduce air quality until they are cleared, it’s important to use a good fume hood, keep windows open for cross-ventilation or both.
While ventilation is important, you also need to use common sense. If you live in a heavily polluted city, for instance, opening windows may bring in more contaminants than it removes. The same is true at the peak of pollen season in spring and fall. Generally, it’s a good idea to open windows in the evenings, when cooler temperatures will make both pollen and some forms of air pollution less of a problem.
Keep More Live Plants
In addition to making your home look better, houseplants can have a profound impact on its air quality. As plants take in air, they can remove chemical gases from it, leaving your home cleaner. Incredibly, the gases that houseplants can absorb include benzene, formaldehyde and even trichloroethylene (TCE).
As a result, one of the best ways to clean the air in your home is to keep more live plants around. It’s important to understand, though, that different plants are best for removing different contaminants. To learn more, check out our popular blog post on the best air purifying plants you can keep in your home to achieve better air quality.
Eliminate Contaminants at Their Source
Many of the common contaminants in home air can be prevented from building up in the first place. Dust, for example, can be kept to a minimum with a regular and thorough cleaning regimen. Mold spores and toxins can be eliminated by finding and treating small mold infestations in your home before they turn into larger problems. Even pollen can be kept to a minimum by circulating the air in your house with a fan instead of opening the windows during allergy seasons.
With this said, there are some contaminants you simply won’t be able to avoid. Formaldehyde is a good example, as many building materials are treated with this dangerous chemical. As a result, most homes have an ambient level of formaldehyde that is given off by insulation and other materials over time. Getting rid of formaldehyde at the source is much more difficult than dust, mold or pollen because its source is the very materials your home is constructed from.
In your efforts to clean the air in your home, targeting contaminants at their sources is a great way to supplement other approaches. By minimizing what ends up in the air, you’ll make it easier to remove the contaminants that do. That said, it’s unlikely to solve all of your air quality problems.
Best Way to Clean the Air in Your House: Use a Home Air Purifier
Though having more houseplants and targeting contaminants at the source can both help to improve your home air quality, the best way to clean your home air is by far to use an air purifier. Air purifiers are designed specifically to draw air in, remove impurities and cycle the clean air back into your home. By continually repeating this process, they can keep pollutants at bay and help you enjoy cleaner, healthier air.
The reason that using an air purifier is the best way to clean the air in your home is that the process is predictable and controllable. While houseplants certainly do remove some contaminants, they will do it at an unpredictable rate. With a good air purifier, you’ll be able to pinpoint how large a space your machine will cover, what contaminants it will remove, how many air changes per hour it will execute and other important pieces of information. Using an air purifier, you can actively take control of your indoor air quality.
Choosing the Right Air Purifier
Air purifiers come with two major types of filters. The first, known as a HEPA filter, is used to target solid particles in the air. These include dust, dander, pollen and even mold spores. HEPA filters are made with large amounts of fine filter material stacked into several layers. As air is passed through these layers, the solids present in it are captured and retained inside the filter.
The second major type of air purifier filter is made of activated carbon. Carbon filters can be used to capture gases, including odors and VOCs like formaldehyde. In some cases, chemically impregnated carbon is used to target specific gases.
It should be noted that many leading air purifiers feature both of these types of filters. If you’re looking for the best way to clean the air in your house, it’s usually a good idea to buy an air purifier with both HEPA and carbon filtration. By using the two filter types in tandem, you’ll be able to remove more common contaminants than either one could on its own.
Some air purifiers also feature a UV germicidal lamp meant to kill viruses and bacteria. When exposed to UV light, these biological contaminants are rendered neutral. Purifiers with this feature are especially helpful during cold and flu season and will help support your health year-round.
Beyond the filters themselves, many air purifiers offer user-friendly features meant to make them more convenient. Multiple fan settings, for example, will let you achieve a balance between cleaning the air in your home and maintaining a noise level you’re comfortable with. Filter change reminder lights are another useful feature, as they will make tracking filter changes much easier.
To get the best air purifier for your needs, you’ll also need to think about the size of the space it’s being used in. Air purifiers have their capacity rated in square footage, typically calculated on the assumption that they’ll be used in a space with a standard 8-foot ceiling. When choosing your purifier, be sure to select a unit with the capacity to clean your entire home or multiple air purifiers that can provide comprehensive coverage.
When choosing an air purifier, it’s important to consider what type of contaminants you want to target, how large your space is and what additional features you may need. For some of our most popular units, check out our Best Sellers page to see the air purifiers that our existing customers buy most often.
How Concerned Should You Be About Home Air Quality?
One of the most common questions people have when they start looking into ways to clean home air is whether or not the everyday contaminants in their houses are causing any real problems. While it’s impossible to say whether any one person is being affected by indoor air pollution, there is clear evidence that low air quality is a contributing factor to several chronic diseases, including both heart disease and diabetes. Air pollution is one of the most widespread problems facing the world today, and new evidence continues to emerge every year pointing to its detrimental effects.
Even if you live in an area where pollution isn’t a huge concern, an air purifier can help you breathe more comfortably. Common contaminants like dust and pollen can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, sneezing and other annoying symptoms. If you suffer from allergies or regular sneezing, an air purifier may be able to provide you with some relief.
The people who should be most concerned about indoor air quality are those who have asthma, COPD and other chronic respiratory illnesses. If you or someone you know suffers from such an ailment, a high-quality air purifier can be an invaluable tool in preventing flare-ups. By keeping the air fresh and clean, air purifiers may be able to help make asthma attacks less frequent and less severe.
Ultimately, everyone should pay at least some attention to the quality of the air they’re breathing every day. If you have asthma or live in a heavily polluted city, it’s extremely important to take active steps to clean the air in your house. Even if you don’t, though, cleaner air can help you lead a healthier and happier life by reducing allergies and reactions to dust on a daily basis.
Measuring Indoor Air Quality
If you’re thinking about trying out different ways to clean the air in your house, you should be thinking about how you’ll measure the results. The most precise way to see what contaminants are in your home air is by using an indoor air quality meter. Using a meter, you can get a good reading on your home’s baseline air quality, then monitor it as you use an air purifier and other methods to improve it. These meters will also alert you to changes in your home’s air quality, allowing you to identify new contaminants or troubleshoot problems with your air purifier before your air quality suffers too much.
Bonus Tip: Use a Humidifier for Maximum Comfort
Although contaminants are the bigger concern, dry air can also cause problems. If the air you’re breathing is too dry, you may experience sore throats, headaches and nasal irritation. To deal with overly dry air in the home, it’s a good idea to use a personal humidifier. By adding some humidity back to your home air in addition to cleaning it, you can enjoy maximum comfort and breathe better than ever.
Have questions about the best ways to clean the air in your house or how an air purifier can support your overall health? We’re here to help! Feel free to send us your questions, and we’ll be happy to provide you with answers, advice and personalized product recommendations based on your needs.