Best air filters for clean indoor air wellness mama electricity and water

#####

There is some debate as to whether air filters are really necessary for a healthy home. True, you can do a lot for your indoor air with a few well-chosen indoor plants and it is the most natural and inexpensive way to purify indoor air. But since indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, and with all of the chemicals and off-gassing materials used in home building and furnishings today, air filters and purifiers can only help… as long as you grab the right one. Indoor Air Pollutants

Whether it’s furniture off-gassing or cleaning products used around the house, indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air. Even when we’re using the safest products we can, it’s difficult to get away from these chemicals and toxins entirely. Add in the fact that many of us have to keep our windows closed for months at a time when it’s too cold or hot outside, and indoor air pollution is unavoidable.

A 1996 study also indicates long-term exposure to indoor pollutants possibly causes Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). MCS is a disease (not recognized by medical organizations) where the patient reacts to chemicals in the environment. Often the symptoms are fatigue, brain fog, dizziness and headaches. While it may not be officially recognized, thousands of stories from chemically suffering individuals suggest more studies are needed. Reducing Indoor Pollution

Though we can’t get away from pollutants entirely, we can minimize the amount of indoor pollutants in our homes. An obvious place to start in cleaning up indoor air quality is to reduce the source of pollutants. Building materials, furniture, mattresses, cleaning and personal care products, and air fresheners can all contribute to poor air quality. Here are some ideas for reducing the sources of poor air quality:

A good old-fashioned airing of the house by opening windows regularly may help, but if you live in an area with a lot of air pollution or suffer from seasonal allergies, this may not be a good solution for you. Ways to Filter Indoor Air Naturally

An easy and cost effective way to make an impact on the air quality in the home is to use plants. Almost any plant will help clean up indoor air (they absorb gases — including CO2 — through their leaves) but some are better at it than others. Some of the best plants for cleaning indoor air are:

Another way to clean up indoor air is through negative ions. Many toxins are positively charged. Both beeswax candles and Himalayan salt lamps clean the air by emitting negative ions which attach to toxins and remove them from the air. Beeswax candles and salt lamps are also both relaxing and beautiful, making them a great addition to a natural home. It is important to note that neither of these solutions creates a lot of negative ions and may not do much against more polluted air. Ventilation

If your home is heated with wood or other alternative to an HVAC system, ventilation is still important. When possible, opening a window and letting in some fresh air can do wonders. If it’s too cold outside close off one room and open the windows in that room for an hour or so. Then when it’s full of fresh air, close the windows and open the door to the rest of the house. The fresh air will circulate through the house but won’t affect the temperature inside (much).

Even after all of the other steps are taken to reduce toxins in the home, a good air filter is worth the investment. Just think, assuming we spend half our time sleeping ( or, if you’re a mom, a quarter of your time!) using an air filter even just in the bedroom can reduce exposure to airborne toxins by 50%. Do Air Filters Work?

Air filters do have a positive impact on the amount of toxins in the air. One study found that air filters removed more than 70% (and as much as 95%) of pollutant particles in the air. Other studies suggest that due to the reduced contaminants in the air, respiratory and vascular (heart-related) symptoms improved.

There aren’t too many downsides to using an indoor air filter, honestly, but a few things to keep in mind: If air filters are in HVAC systems but the systems are moldy or have other allergens, the air filter may not be helping you. It’s also not true that a good air filter reduces the need for frequent dusting and vacuuming (sorry!), which is an important means of removing all yukky chemical particles and allergens from the home. Different Kinds of Air Filters

There are so many air filters available on the market it can be hard to know which ones are really good and which ones aren’t. Filtering through the options (ha!), it seems a combination of whole system filtration (a filter in the HVAC system, for example) and local filtration (a stand-alone air purifier) is best.

I own the Austin air purifier from Radiant Life and run it in the family room. I also recently discovered the Air Doctor air filter and bought them for our bedrooms for its air quality sensor feature and lower price point. (It’s also quite a bit quieter, which is nice.) Austin Air Filter

I love the Austin air filter because it’s incredibly high quality and is recommended by allergists. It combines several of the air filtering methods described above, including activated carbon, zeolite, and HEPA technology to eliminate the most pollutants. Austin air filters are also designated as “medical grade” and remove particles as small as .1 microns (a micron is 1 millionth of a meter).

This air filter is also extremely durable (vs. something that will quit working and end up in a landfill in a year). Made of solid steel, the Austin air purifier won’t off-gas like plastic purifiers and it even comes with a 5 year guarantee! AIR Doctor Air Filter

This filter also uses a combination of a high-grade HEPA filter along with a carbon/gas trap/VOC filter. Like the Austin Air it is a 100% sealed system and removes even ultra-fine particles smaller than .1 microns. This means it removes very close to 100% of particles.

The short answer is: Yes! Though other tactics for combating household toxins (like houseplants, beeswax candles, and reducing pollutants) definitely help, air filters are necessary for a clean indoor air environment. Allergy sufferers and children especially will benefit.