Chances are you know about outdoor pollutants and irritants, but did you know that the air inside our homes can get polluted too? In fact, according to the EPA, the air inside your home can be up to ten times more polluted than the air outside. Chemicals from household cleaners, dust mites, pet dander, mold, pollen and VOCs all contribute to poor air quality inside your home, especially during winter months when the windows stay closed. But don’t worry, there are several ways to ensure better indoor air quality:
1. Use Only Zero VOC Paints
If you’re wondering what VOCs are, the acronym stands for volatile organic compounds which are carbon-based solvents, found in a wide array of household products including some paints, that are emitted as gasses and can pollute the air in your home and the environment, posing health risks. In paint, VOCs are released during application and are most prevalent during the first few days of drying, although VOCs can continue to off-gas at low levels years after the paint has dried. While some paints are low VOC, Clare paints are all Zero VOCs, which means that no VOCs have been intentionally added. Our paint is ultra-low odor so there’s less of that cloying paint smell during application. Paying attention to added chemical finishes and making smarter choices not just about your paint but also other home décor items like furniture, rugs, and other textiles will ensure a healthier, happier home. Shop our Zero VOC interior paint here.
2. Invest In An Air Purifier
A handy helper in the fight against indoor pollutants is an air purifier. Here are a few things to keep in mind before buying one for your home. One air purifier isn’t going to pull pollutants out of your entire home. Often times they’re made for a specific square footage, so buying an air purifier that will work in the space you have is very important. If it’s in too large a space, it will be less effective. Look into a brand like Molekule. While it might seem pricey, in this arena you get what you pay for. This unit is quiet, portable, and uses nanotechnology at the molecular level to eliminate airborne allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
3. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
There’s no need to use harsh chemicals when there are so many cleaning products available that are effective at cleaning grime and killing germs without them. Even natural household basics like vinegar and baking soda can effective and are better for your home. Read the ingredients on your cleaning products, the simpler the better. If there are any ingredients that you’re unsure of, skip it!
4. Add Plants!
More than a beautiful way to add color to a room, plants are multipurpose. They convert carbon dioxide into oxygen that gets released into the air which can help you breathe easier, and varieties like philodendrons are a even known to act as natural air purifiers helping to filter toxins from the air. And bonus - plants are major mood boosters that help us feel happier and more connected to nature, and researchers say they can even help you reduce your stress levels. Pick up some easy to grow options like pathos or a snake plant from your favorite local greenhouse. If you don’t have time to make a separate trip, order your favorites from The Sill. They make it super easy, breaking it down by categories like low light or pet-friendly, so even if you don’t have the greenest thumb you’ll find some great options.
5. Look for GREENGUARD Gold Certified Products
Look for products that have achieved high-level third party green certifications. While there are numerous green labels and certifications out there, GREENGUARD Gold is one of the best, requiring that products meet some of the world's most rigorous standards for low emissions of VOCs into indoor environments. Did you know that all of our paints are GREENGUARD Gold certified? Making sure your paint is GREENGUARD Gold certified is incredibly important. To become GREENGUARD Gold certified, our paint formulas underwent rigorous emissions testing for over 300 VOCs and other hazardous chemicals. To remain certified, our paint undergoes comprehensive certification testing on an annual basis. (Learn more in our FAQ) Hold other products in your home to the same standard to limit VOCs and chemical off-gassing in your home.
6. Use a Vacuum with HEPA filters
While it won’t pull incredibly small particles out of the air like an air purifier, a vacuum with a well-designed HEPA filter works better than your average vacuum to contain household contaminants like dust, dust mites, and pet dander. They can be especially beneficial for allergy sufferers. While these vacuums and filters might cost more, using a product that actually removes these particles properly means that the time you spend cleaning is helping to keep your family healthier and sniffle-free.