The best ways to improve indoor air quality for your wellbeing

Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air

Photo by @_t4ylorr_

SHARE
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

This time of year it may feel cosy being sealed tight inside against the cold weather. You might even be quietly smug about the Hygge vibes that you have created with glowing candles. However, doing all of this can exacerbate the pollution and toxic indoor air quality within your home.

For decades there has been increased public awareness on the dangers of pollution and toxic air outdoors for city dwellers. Unlike outdoor air, the air inside our homes is largely unregulated and has been all but ignored by researchers even though we spend close to 90% of our time indoors (even in Australia). The most common sources of indoor air pollutants include, Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), house dust mites allergens and mold spores.

VOCs are most often found in paints, carpet adhesives, cleaning products and most scented products like candles and air fresheners. Dust mite allergens are common in carpet, bedding and furniture, they can cause aggravation of asthma, nasal inflammation and eczema. Mould spores can be extremely harmful for your health and are of course found in damp rooms like bathrooms and window sills. Combine all of this with combustion particles that can float inside from car exhausts and gas stoves and it is easy to see how our indoor air quality can be causing us so much harm.

Don’t freak out though, there are some quick and easy to more extreme solutions you can implement to improve your indoor air quality.

increase ventilation

It may sound obvious, but throwing open the windows and ventilating your home reduces moisture levels and allows stale indoor air and heating systems to circulate better. This may be tricky in the colder months, so I tend to open my windows just for 15-20mins every few hrs just to get the fresh air circulating, especially after cooking. Scientists who measured indoor air quality found that cooking a single meal on a gas stove can produce levels of nitrogen dioxide that would be considered to be unsafe if outside.

indoor_air_quality
Source image & textiles: @patrickponseele_raamdecoratie

beeswax candles

Although candles smell lovely and create a warm and cosy atmosphere, they can actually be very harmful to your health. Without a doubt never buy paraffin candles which are made from petroleum and release benzene and soot into the air. The verdict is still out on soy candles and generally if they have a scent (unless organically and naturally derived) they emit toxins into the air. I would always recommend beeswax candles as they act as a natural air purifiers, have a lovely subtle honey scent and burn slowly.

indoor_air_quality
Source image: @futurekept

houseplants

Surrounding yourself with nature can only ever be a good move. Just looking at greenery can improve your immune system and having houseplants help to purify the air within your home by absorbing toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene. The best plants to filter the air are Peace Lilys, Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm. If you work from home then English Ivy is great to be kept near computers and printers while Spider Plants help to control carbon monoxide … I keep one near my gas stove!

indoor_air_quality
Source image: @airows_

air purifiers

Having an air purifier on its own does not reduce air pollution adequately, however combining it with the recommendations above as well as regular cleaning with eco friendly cleaning products will make a big difference. Suitable air cleaners can be relatively costly as they do require maintenance and regular replacement of filters, so be sure that you invest in a good quality one.

Make sure the air purifier has a HEPA filter system which ensures the removal of smaller particles and it is important to ensure that it does not produce ozone as a by product. This does take a bit more time and effort to ensure, so we have done the research for you! All of our product recommendations are unbiased, independent advice you can trust, we receive no revenue from these recommendations.

indoor_air_quality
Source image: @elledecor

top of the line
Blueair 405 Air Purifier
Trust the Swedish to nail quality and sleek design. This air purifier was given the highest overall score of all air purifiers tested at Testfakta 2017. Great for removing dust, allergens and city pollution for a medium sized place.

best value
Phillips Air Purifier
When we say ‘best value’ this product still costs £400, but compared to the Dyson option it is half the price. This model still has a True HEPA filter and covers approx 650 sq ft.

Blue Air Blue Pure 411
Perfect for small spaces and if you don’t have any serious allergies. Cute and compact, this is the perfect air filter if you want something that can move with you around the house.

Related:
8 eco-friendly paints for a non-toxic and beautiful home

WHO ARE WE?

We’re two down-to-earth Aussie gals sharing a passion for quality design and designing spaces that improve your well-being.

NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive our latest blogs

Pop-ups suck!

But not if you want to be the first in the know.

Sign up to receive our latest blogs

Full Interior Design
Fee on request
Whether the project is residential, commercial or hospitality this package will cover everything from concept to construction.
  • Site visit and client briefing
  • Spatial planning
  • Conceptual design (2 revisions)
  • Furniture selection schedule
  • Feature lighting selection
  • Window treatment selection
  • Finishes selection schedule
  • Door and ironmongery selection
  • Developed design documentation
  • Site progress meetings
Condensed Interior Design
$2,500 / £1500 per room
Let us look after your new look. We’ll cover conceptual design, finish selection and furniture curation.
  • Site visit and client briefing
  • Site measurement
  • Spatial planning
  • Conceptual design (2 revisions)
  • Furniture selection within budget
  • Feature lighting selection
  • Window treatment selection
Furniture Curation
$1500 / £900 per room

If you have some idea of the look you’d like to achieve, but just don’t have time to deal with quotes or choose furnishings, this is for you.

Package includes:

  • Site visit and client briefing 
  • Site measurement
  • Spatial planning 
  • Furniture selection within budget
  • Trade account discounts provided
Design Session
$500 / £300 per room

Plenty of style, not enough time? This package will include one-on-one time with us so that we can help you find the right brands and pieces.

How it works:

  • Send us a video tour of your room
  • 1hr phone consultation to discuss design direction
  • We will send you a tailored list of suppliers to suit your budget and design direction.