As I sat on my deck a few mornings ago admiring the beautiful blue sky, I remember taking a deep breath of fresh air and thinking what a great day it was going to be. Not five minutes later, I checked my Facebook feed only to discover that the air in Edmonton had an air quality health index of 5, which is half way between good (1) and toxic (10).
Unbeknownst to me, pollutants in the air that were invisible to the eye, were sitting there with me as I took my deep breaths. Here are some tips to keep the poor air quality out of your home.
Check your city’s air quality
The Government of Canada has an online Air Quality Health Index that you can check to see what the air quality in your city is at any given time. It may look like a clear day outside, but the index will give you a good idea of pollutants in the air that you can not see such as particles and chemicals from distant forest fires.
Close your doors and windows
When the quality of the air outside is poor, leave it out there. Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible to keep the air quality inside your home at a better level.
Leave your shoes at the door
We bring in a lot of pollutants on the soles of our shoes. Take them off and leave them at the door so there is less to clean up. You can also place a mat at each entrance to trap and hold particles.
Yes, we know that this has been said so many times before, but until smoking becomes a thing of the past (like parachute pants, but deadly), we will say it again. The chemicals in, and damage caused by cigarette smoke is astronomical. Don’t live in it and don’t let your family live in it.
Avoid using heavy chemicals indoors
Harsh chemicals and cleaners should be used in well ventilated areas and, most preferably, outdoors.
Ditch the candles and incense
Like the chemicals listed above, the smoke from these can carry unnecessary particles around your home and can affect your health.
Air purifying plants for the home
Yes, there is such a thing. Besides creating oxygen, some plants have the amazing ability to absorb contaminants. My top suggestion is the spider plant. They are the easiest to grow, grow well in almost all rooms, multiply (so you can share or spread them around) and are easy to find. Plus they are on NASA’s list of best plants to purify the air on the space station from a study done in the 80’s.
Clean often and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
Keep even the most minuscule particles away by keeping a clean house. Check out my tips to clean your house with allergies that includes a great recommendation for a HEPA filter vacuum that gets the job done, and then some.
Use a smart air purifier
Now that you’ve taken care of some of the outside factors, it’s time to get busy on the inside ones. In short, an air purifier eliminates airborne particles already in your home (eg. gases from cooking and central heating, mold, pet hair, pollen and allergens to name a few).
The Dyson Pure Cool™ Link air purifier fan automatically removes 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. In perspective, odours, toxic fumes, cooking oil smoke, and asbestos are about 1 micron.
What makes the Dyson Pure Cool Link so smart?
When you set the Dyson Pure Cool Link to auto, it will monitor the air quality automatically for you and turn itself on when it detects changes.
Dyson purifiers come with a night-time auto mode as well. Your machine will continue to monitor and respond to air quality while you’re asleep, but only using the quietest settings. And the LED display dims, so you won’t be disturbed.
You can monitor your Dyson Pure Cool unit through an impressive Dyson-created app available for iOS or Android. Through the app, you can also:
- Monitor the air quality of your home and your city: The app will show you the air quality inside your home and in your city at a quick glance.
- Turn the unit on and off and change the fan strength, even if you are not at home.
- Monitor how many hours your filter has left before a replacement is needed.
- Track your indoor air quality history daily and weekly to monitor your high pollution times.
Check out the Dyson Canada website to read more about the Dyson line of Pure Cool purifiers.
Thank you to Dyson Canada for providing a Pure Cool Link
air purifier and information to facilitate this article.