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Four Frugal Ways to Purify Indoor Air

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Purple flowers in vase on windowsill.

There are many benefits of going outside and taking a walk in the fresh air, but taking a walk outdoors is usually only a half hour or maybe an hour of our day, and the rest of the time we end up breathing stale, indoor air.  

So, the question is, how do we improve the quality of the air inside of our homes (without paying for any sort of expensive filters or air purifying systems)? The good news is that there are a couple of cheap or even free old-fashioned ways to help to purify indoor air and improve the quality of the air you breathe.

Four Frugal Ways to Purify Indoor Air

1) Open Some Windows

This first one seems pretty obvious, but there a lot of times that I don’t even think about opening the windows. This method only takes a second, and it will flood the room with a nice blast of fresh air (especially if you can open a second window for cross-ventilation). In the days before air-conditioning, I imagine people must have opened their windows a lot more than we do today!

Opening windows might be great in the spring and fall when the weather is nice, but what about during the winter when it’s too cold or the summer when it’s too hot?

Well, on the coldest, most blustery winter days, I do leave my windows tightly shut to preserve as much heat as possible. On the milder winter days, though, I like open the windows for five minutes or so, just to let the air circulate around a little. In the really nice weather, I’ll just leave them open all day and all night and let the fresh air fill the room. On the summer days when it’s really hot and muggy, I’ll leave them closed during the day and open them for a little while in the evening or maybe even all night if the weather is cool enough to not have the air conditioning on.

Nighttime is really a great time to leave the windows open. When you think about it, you’re spending seven to eight hours in the same room breathing the same air all night. It’s so much more refreshing to sleep in a room filled with fresh clean air!

2) Minimize Chemical Product Use

There’s a lot of stuff that we put into the air we breathe without even realizing it. Just think about all of the household cleaning and beauty products you spray into the air on a daily basis: perfume, hairspray, glass cleaner, kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, etc.

And then, because those sprays often have bleach or ammonia along with a whole bunch of other chemicals that make the air smell horrible, we spray another chemical-laden air-freshener spray to try to mask the smell in the room. Using all of these toxic products can harm our health.

The better alternative is to try to use as many natural cleaning and beauty products as possible to minimize the amount of chemicals and toxins that you’re putting into the air inside your house.

A lot of people in the “good old days” made their own cleaning and beauty products and today you can still make many of these products yourself at home, like homemade tinted lip balm or homemade perfume, or you can find natural products at many healthfood stores and online.

And, as an added bonus, many natural products are packed with the essential oils of herbs and spices and flower extracts, so they already smell incredibly good without any synthetic fragrances.

3) Light a Beeswax Candle Or Use a Diffuser

Unlike other types of candles with chemical dyes and other additives to give them their scents, beeswax candles don’t add any toxins or pollutants to the air. 100% pure beeswax candles can actually help to purify the air by emitting negative ions.

I’m definitely not a scientist by any means, so I don’t exactly understand the way that negative ions work to clean the air, but I do know that every time I burn a beeswax candle, the air in the room smells so much fresher and cleaner – kind of like the way it smells when you go outside after a rain storm (which has something to do with all those negative ions again.) And the subtle honey scent smells really good too!

If you don’t like burning candles, another option is to use a diffuser to scent the air in your home with essential oils. There are a variety of scents you can choose from, and you can even combine different essential oils to make your own custom blend depending on whether you want something calming or something uplifting and energizing. You just make sure you’re using essential oils that are 100% pure because you don’t want to be adding any synthetic chemicals into the air.

4) Get a Houseplant

Houseplants are another great way to help purify the air inside your house. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also produce oxygen and help to remove toxins from the air. Even if you don’t have a lot of direct sunlight on your windows or if you don’t consider yourself to have a green thumb, there are lots of plant varieties that can thrive in low light and with low maintenance.

I have a pothos plant that I bought half a year ago that is still alive even though the window I put it in gets hardly any light at this time of year. A few other good plants for purifying the air naturally are Boston ferns, spider plants, English ivy, and peace lilies.

My favorite plant to keep in my home, though, is the orchid because they only need low light, and their blooms are so beautiful. Unlike other air purifying plants that are just green, orchids have a splash of color that can brighten up any room.

Orchid on desk with antique books
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Purple flowers in vase on windowsill.


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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

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Saturday 22nd of March 2014

Breathable wall plasters such as clay based and lime plasters clean the air of odour and toxins, as well as moderating humidity preventing mold growth, and create positive ionization!

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