Natural ways to help breathe cleaner air at home

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Hepa, ionic and activated carbon filter air purifier – we’ve all done the research already last year when the haze hit. The purfiers increase the clean air inside our homes, but natural elements can also help! On hazy days with air quality levels reaching to over 300, we have no other option but to stay indoors – and as we all know, that can get you and the family really down! Here are a few tips from one mum at Happy Go KL, who believes that natural remedies can make the air a little cleaner.

Air purifying plants for your home

Some houseplants are said to be able to absorb harmful toxins from the air through their leaves and roots. Even if the studies suggest they may not be as effective in houses as they are in sealed test environments, I am more than happy to let them try cleaning the air at my house! The majority of toxin removing plants are also easy to take care of. I think the ideal set up is to place two or three medium-sized pots with different plants in each room. Besides cleaning the air a bit, they are a great visual addition for any corner of your house.

The popular Golden Pothos, also called Devil’s Eye or Money plant, is considered to be one of the most effective air purifying plants. This is also one of the easiest plants to maintain – it doesn’t require much effort to keep it green and happy.

Another easy-growing vine is the English Ivy. This plant apparently has expectorant properties, something that helps loosen mucus and help you breathe better. It is also said to be very effective in reducing mould in the air, making it the perfect choice for bathrooms. Both English Ivy and Devil’s Ivy are also effective in removing carbon monoxide in their surrounding area.

The ideal plant for bedrooms is the Snake Plant, also called Mother-in-law’s tongue or lidah mertua in Malay. This tall succulent releases oxygen at night, assuring you will breathe fresher air while sleeping.

The Spider Plant or pokok labah-labah is the easiest plant to look after and the best choice for houseplant newbies.

Last, but not least, I have been told that the classy and evergreen Peace Lily is one of the most powerful air-purifying plants you can have in your house.

Other beautiful and effective plants that are recommended for clean air at home are the Boston Fern, Bamboo palm and Areca Palm. They are all common plants, cheap and super easy to find. I believe almost every nursery has them. For all your plant needs, you can head over to Sungai Buloh where you will find lots of nurseries.

For those who have indoor pets, some of the plants mentioned above can be toxic when ingested by animals. So it’s best to place them out of reach of both cats and dogs. If you prefer to only have non-toxic plants at home, opt for the Snake Plant, Bamboo Palm, Areca Palm or the Boston Fern.

I for one noticed that having plants improved the mood of the whole family. I started to feel depressed after a days and days of staying at home with all the windows closed. After we bought the plants, it felt better to stay at home, surrounded by green. We’re definitely a happier family now!

Essential oils that help you breath easier

Some essential oils contain properties that can help you breath easier. They are also perfect to aromatize the atmosphere. Essential oils can be used in the form of a homemade room spray or you can diffuse them. I find that lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree and cinnamon leaf essential oils are among the best oils to keep the air feeling naturally fresher. Make sure you only use high quality oils not to actually worsen the air quality indoors!

Other ways to make the indoor air better

There are also some other simple and effective things that can help you keeping the air clean at home:

– Use natural cleaners and avoiding synthetic home cleaning products – this will reduce the number of harmful toxins in your home.
– Beeswax candles burn with almost no smoke and release negative ions into the air.
– Increase ventilation in your home by using ceiling fans.
– Clean the air filters in air-con units regularly, preferably every three months and change the filters in your air purifiers regularly.

While these natural ways will help to keep the air fresh at home, they surely have less power than electronic air purifiers. But they are natural, cost-effective, and will definitely help increase the mood of the family and lower stress levels on those sad haze-days.

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