An outdoor girl’s guide to improving air quality at home

I consider myself very lucky for getting to spend so much of my life outdoors – when I’m not working in gardens or doing my own garden I’m walking the dog or finding another way of getting a fresh air hit.

The downside to that means that the indoors can feel quite stifling to me, and so I’m always looking at ways to improve my indoor environment.  People in the UK are thought to spend roughly 90% of their life indoors, so I thought I’d write an article about how I go about improving the air quality in my home as someone who loves the great outdoors.

Firstly, keep the house well ventilated.  Not only does this improve air quality but it also increases concentration levels and helps us to get a better night’s sleep – great if you are a home worker. My home office has a huge velux window in it which offers so much light and fresh air – having it open and feeling the breeze blow in is the next best thing to being outdoors. It’s also a good way of keeping air flowing through the house even when we are out, which is good for security purposes. Have a look on the Velux website for inspiring window ideas and how you can dress them so they really match you inside space here.

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Secondly, as a plant and garden lover, I think indoor houseplants are fantastic – not only do they add a touch of greenery and a nice scent, they are also essential for improving indoor oxygen levels and reducing harmful toxins.  Snake plants, for example, give out oxygen at night so if you place one in your bedroom you’ll breathe better while you sleep. They also combat xylene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, and benzene from the air. Try other plants like peace lilies, orchids and ivy which will all add a touch of colour and charm. There is a great article in The Telegraph about the best plants to clean the air inside your house here

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Thirdly, I like to keep use of household cleaning products and air fresheners to an absolute minimum. There is growing evidence to suggest that these products react with compounds in the air and produce formaldehyde as a by-product.

I prefer using products which are naturally fragranced, fragrance free or even natural cleaning alternatives. Use essential oils as a replacement, diluted with water in a spray bottle, in a stick diffuser or burner – there are so many lovely natural smells to choose from. Great natural cleaners are lemon juice and vinegar so there’s really no need to use harmful products at all.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my top tips. Make the most of your indoor space and bring the outdoors indoors wherever you can!

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