Poor indoor air quality is a major contributor to respiratory and allergic conditions in householders, however instant improvements can be made with the following low cost and easy-to-achieve measures:
- Actively ventilate your home daily.
Opening opposing windows and clerestory or second floor windows encourages cross flow and passive stack ventilation. Fly-screens and security screens are a useful addition to your windows and doors to enable good ventilation, day or night, without attracting unwanted insects. Use the middle of the day in winter while your heating is off to get some fresh air in, if your local climate allows.
- Take off your shoes at the front door.
Shoes are one of the biggest sources of indoor pollutants such as lead and pesticides - by removing them you can reduce the dust in your home by up to 50%. Heavy doormats at entrances will also help to reduce pollutants being carried into the home. For a doormat with a social conscience take a look at The Welcome Committee project.
- Keep indoor plants.
Indoor plants contribute multiple benefits to the interior environment including absorbing volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, airborne moulds and bacteria, and regulating humidity levels. As well as this, studies have shown that indoor plants have positive psychological benefits. Some resilient indoor plants are Peace Lilies, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Boston Fern, Rubber plant, Bamboo Palm and Aloe.
- Clean your home regularly.
A regular vacuum with a Hepa filter vacuum cleaner, and both a simple microfibre mop and damp-dust to eradicate particulate matter, will contribute to a healthy interior environment.
Photographs by Emma Byrnes