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This new year, instead of making the usual resolutions that we’ve given up on by the end of January, we decided to break it up by dividing some big goals into manageable chunks.
Each month, we will invite you to overhaul one aspect of your life to reduce toxins, improve health, and increase your peace of mind. Our promise is that these changes will be easy to implement, and we hope will help you avoid the typical resolution overwhelm!
It is (finally!) March, which should feel like the beginning of spring, but I know those of us in the Northeast still feel very much like we are in winter–which means lots of time indoors.
For this reason, I invite you all to take some simple steps to clean up the air you breathe when you’re in your home. Did you know that 80% of the toxins you will ever encounter in your life, you will encounter INSIDE your home?!
You don’t have to do every suggestion on this list, but the more you check off, the cleaner your air will be.
Here are my favorite ways to clean up the indoor air:
- Throw open your windows when the weather permits; even in cities, outdoor air is usually better than indoor.
- Purchase some charcoal air purifiers, which clear everything from odors to VOCs.
- Stock up on houseplants, which both absorb airborne toxins and generate clean oxygen, making them a great passive air filter.
- Invest in 100% wool rugs for your floors, as wool naturally absorbs VOCs.
- If your budget allows, go for an electronic air filter, which will remove everything from dust and viruses to pollens and VOCs most effectively.
The Best Electronic Air Filter
While we have an extensive guide on our site that will help you choose the best air filter, I thought I would share the most salient points here:
- There are two broad categories of toxins that are important to get out of your indoor air:
a) Particulates, including: dust, smoke, mold spores, pollen, diesel exhaust, flame-retardants, bacteria, and viruses.
b) VOCs, including: formaldehyde, acetone, benzene, butanol, carbon disulfide, ethanol, terpenes, toluene, and more.
- There are various methods/technologies for removing these substances from your home, but from our perspective the best air filter units will have all of these features:
—True HEPA filtration for particulates.
–Large and robust filtration for VOCs.
–The ability to move air through the filters quickly.
–A proven track record of effectiveness and reliability.
—Ease of use–not having to constantly change or clean the filters.
For a long time, we could not find an air filter system that we felt really good about, but a couple of years ago one of you readers clued me into a filter that hits all five of the above criteria. (This is why we love talking with you guys!)
We now use this series of air filters in our own homes.
It is worth noting that cars are thick with all sorts of VOCs and there has been precious little we could do about it until recently. I was thrilled to find the Amaircare Roomaid Mini, which we’ve put in all of the Gimme the Good Stuff vehicles!
Feel free to ask questions below about cleaning up your indoor air or which air filter is best for you. Also, check out this video, where we discuss both water and air filters.
Stay sane, and happy March!
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5 responses to “March: Clean Up Your Indoor Air”
Do the benefits of air purifiers outweigh the risks of the EMF’s that they put out?
Thank you so much for the suggestion on air filters! My husband and I are building a new home and although we are excited we are concerned about the VOCs from all of the new materials. We have a two year old and another on the way in July. I noticed the Austin website has junior size machines in addition to the standard sized machines. Do you know if the junior size machines are as efficient as the bedroom machine? The size of the bedrooms are around 140 sq foot and the master bedroom is 250 sq ft. What would you suggest? Although we would like to get the larger bedroom filter we are not sure we can currently purchase one for each room of the home.
John here…from Gimme
Both sizes are quite efficient and capable of scrubbing your air. For your bedrooms I definitely recommend the Junior size. The larger unit would be overkill, but we have a large one in our living/dining area and we run it 24/7 on low. We only turn it up to high when I burn something in the kitchen…which, now that I think of it, is pretty often. 🙂
I see the grommet on the Moso bag. Is it supposed to hang? Could it be placed under a bed and still be effective? Behind a cabinet?