10 Ways to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution Naturally

Most people don’t think a lot about the quality of the air inside their home or work environments and how it impacts them. Not surprising, though, indoor air quality has major impacts on human health and the ability to save money on medical bills. Find the top 10 ways to reduce indoor pollution naturally for health and financial benefits.

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What You'll Find in This Post

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Indoor Air Pollutants

Indoor air pollutants come in many sources. The four major pollutants are asbestos, indoor air particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and radon, but sources also include things like lead, pesticides and biological pollutants.

The most common forms of particulate matter come from tobacco smoke, cooking, the use of candles and chimneys, pressed wood products, or use of space or kerosene heaters in unventilated spaces. However, there are more.

Why Reduce Indoor Air Pollution?

Since we spend at least 90% of our time indoors, it’s no wonder that bad air quality can wreak havoc on human health. Indoor air pollution has been linked to short-term and long-term side effects, from headaches, fatigue, and respiratory irritation to asthma and even death.  And this is before COVID-19!

Woman with asthma inhaler
Source: Canva

Therefore, it’s a no brainer that if indoor air quality is improved, our health improves, not to mention that medical bill costs can go down.

Find more information on health and financial benefits.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, so should you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Disclaimers & Disclosures and Privacy Policy for more information.

10 Ways to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

So, how can you improve your indoor air quality in your home or business? Here are the top 10 ways to reduce indoor air pollution naturally that are easy and inexpensive.

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1 - Improve Indoor Ventilation

The easiest, and cheapest, way to eliminate indoor air pollutants is to increase the amount of outdoor air into your home or office by opening your windows to ventilate the whole interior. This is most affective, of course, if you live in an area with minimal outdoor air pollutants like minimal car traffic.

Open skylight window
Source: Canva

If you cannot open a window in your kitchen, use a cooking vent to circulate the kitchen air to remove food and grease particulates. Gas stoves should especially be ventilated to eliminate gas.

2 - Monitor Indoor Air

Monitoring your air for carbon monoxide and radon is a health and safety issue for your home. Many inexpensive monitors are available.

Carbon monoxide monitor to reduce indoor air pollution
Source: Canva

3 - Use Air Purifiers

HEPA air purifiers can remove harmful particle pollutants like exhaust, dust and bacteria and improve your indoor air quality. ENERGY STAR certified purifiers also save energy and you can possibly get a rebate.

4 - Avoid Toxic Products

Air fresheners have been shown to release phthalates into the air, which can cause allergic symptoms, asthma, birth defects and reproductive issues. The NRDC’s study on air fresheners found that 86% of air fresheners release phthalates, even if marked “natural” or “unscented”. 

Your best bet – open a window for fresh air.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a diverse category of chemicals appearing in over 5,000 substances. PFAS are also known as “forever chemicals” because they take thousands of years to degrade. PFAS are considered to be linked to cancer, thyroid, liver and kidney problems, and reproductive issues.  Great, huh?

Easy ways to avoid exposure to PFAS, and reduce indoor air pollution, is to not buy water-resistant products like water-resistant clothing, shoes, furniture, make-up, and sunscreens.  PFAS are also found in non-stick cookware, food packaging, and dental floss!

Unfortunately, PFAS are also found in food and water.  Sigh. In short, be a conscious consumer and read your labels to avoid these products protect your health.

Armchair Home Decoration Furniture
Source: Canva

In building products, stay away from paints, primers and other products that volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). VOC’s are known to cause headaches, fatigue, and skin, eye, nose and throat irritation. In high concentrations, VOCs can cause lung, kidney and nervous system damage.

Blue Paint Beside Blue Paint Roller
Source: Canva

If you do have any products with VOC’s, store them correctly in a garage or other safe, outdoor space.

Better yet, check with your municipality to see how you can recycle them responsibly to remove them from your environment altogether.

Use only natural, non-toxic and biodegradable cleaners healthy for you and the environment. This means avoiding your common cleaning products that contain chlorine bleach and phosphates.

For craft and office use, use non-toxic toners and glues.

Green cleaning supplies to reduce indoor air pollution
Source: Canva
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5- Eliminate Smoke Inside

Anything that produces smoke produces harmful, carcinogenic particulate matter you can inhale. Period. So, what are the easiest ways to reduce indoor air pollution from smoke?

Stop smoking. Not only bad for indoor air quality and passing secondhand smoke to non-smokers and children, it impacts your respiratory system and ability to fight infections and viruses, including COVID-19.

Even eCigarettes emit vapors that contain VOCs.

Studies show that over $300 billion in medical costs per year come from smoking, and secondhand smoke, in the U.S. alone. Talk about saving money by not smoking!

Cigarette smoke
Source: Canva

Candles and incense also produce carcinogenic particulates, so they, too, can be irritants and cause respiratory diseases.  If you must use a candle, keep use to a minimum.

Yep, you guessed it! Smoking chimneys are also a carcinogenic pollutant culprit. The smoke chimneys emit collect in your home causing health and home damage.

Maintain your chimney properly to ensure good ventilation for improved health, better energy efficiency, and reducing more financial costs later.

6 - Maintain HVAC System

Change out your HVAC air filters regularly.  Clean air filters not only protect human health from indoor air pollution, they also prolong the life of your HVAC system and save on energy bills.  A triple win! 

Man installing HVAC air filter to reduce indoor air pollution
Source: Canva

Hire an HVAC specialist to inspect and clean your HVAC system so it’s running properly and produces less particulate circulation.  This is one of the first things I did when I bought my home. It’s not that expensive and well worth it.

7 - Clean Interiors Regularly

Nothing can be more of a daily irritant than dust and dirt in your home. Clean regularly to remove dust and dirt.  For hard floors, cleaning with a damp mop after sweeping is best.

Woman holding mop and bucket to reduce indoor air pollution
Source: Canva

Keep rugs and carpets clean, especially if you have pets, with regular vacuuming and periodic shampooing with environmentally-safe cleaners. 

Wash sheets, towels and other linens in hot water regularly as they can collect bacteria and dust mites that also lead to triggering asthma or allergy flare ups.

Person changing sheets on bed to reduce indoor air pollution
Source: Canva

Groom your pets often. Pets can bring dirt, dust, or insects inside. Regular grooming and bathing of your pet removes dander and other pesky, allergy-causing particulates with pet health benefits, too!

Woman brushing small dog to reduce indoor air pollution
Source: Canva

8 – Clean Appliances

Appliances like vacuum cleaners, kitchen vents and clothes dryers collect dirt and lint that also negatively impact our respiratory system.

Changing out appliance filters reduces indoor air pollution for easier breathing. Here’s a good list of filters you should change regularly in your home.

Person removing dryer lint
Source: Canva

9 - Control Indoor Humidity

Controlling the humidity inside your home can reduce the chance of mold or mildew growing.

After showering, leave the bathroom fan running at least 15 minutes to effectively remove moist air. If you don’t have a bathroom fan, open the window.

Additional use of a dehumidifier is bonus, especially if you live in a particularly humid climate.

These tips and more can reduce your indoor air humidity.

10 - Use Indoor Plants

Not just pretty to look at, the right indoor plants are an inexpensive way to reduce indoor air pollution, like removing VOCs, according to NASA. Here are 20 recommended plants you could use to beautify your home.

Potted Green Indoor Plants
Source: Canva

Find Indoor Air Quality Products

Want the easiest way to find indoor air quality products? Look for the 3rd party certifier labels and seals that are doing the indoor air and product quality research for you so you can buy products you can trust.

Take It To the Next Level

After reading this, you may be asking why are any of these products available to buy if they cause such harmful effects to our health? Great question!

The first thing you can do to protect your health is to be informed and make informed choices. You’re on your way by reading this blog post!

CORR Concepts has, and is continually adding, indoor air quality products for you to choose from to take out your guesswork. So keep coming back to CORR Concepts.

The next best thing you can do is to take action. Contact your legislators to ask, if not demand, them to pass regulations prohibiting manufacturers from producing products that cause poor health effects in the first place!

If your legislators don’t have one, present your own ballot measure for your next election. You have the power, and your health is in your hands.

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Gwen

Gwen

Gwen is the Founder of CORR Concepts and a Sustainability professional with an MBA in Sustainable Enterprises and LEED AP ID+C accreditation from the GBCI. She is also the Founder of the www.CORRTravel.com solo travel blog. As a Sustainability professional and Earth Steward, environmental sustainability and biodiversity protection is her "religion" while travel is her passion.

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