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Improve the air quality in your home

Houseplants to denote improved air quality
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How clean is the air in your home?

The harm caused by breathing polluted air outside is well understood, even more so now many people are living with the after-effects of covid-19 – but air in your home can be polluted, too.

When you take a breath at home, you might be taking in gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as particulate matter (PM), which is particles of dust, soot and even tiny animals known as dust mites. You might also be exposed to mould spores, and animal dander, too.

Poor air quality at home makes it more likely that you’ll be affected by allergies. It can make respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD worse, and it can make it harder to recover from seasonal colds and flu.

What causes indoor air pollution at home?

Each kind of indoor air pollution has different causes. Spores come from fungi and mould growing in a damp environment. Particulate matter and soot might come from wood burners and cigarette smoking. Gas stoves and ovens can emit nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Cleaning products, carpets and paint can give off VOCs.

How can I prevent mould spores in my home?

To reduce the number of mould spores in your home, take steps to reduce damp and condensation. Condensation is most likely in cold places in your home. It’s important to make sure your home is properly heated – the charity Asthma and Lung UK says that the best temperature range for avoiding damp is 18-20C in winter. Try to dry washing outside or in a well ventilated room or an airing cupboard. An extractor fan in the bathroom can also reduce damp. Finally, check for leaks in your home and get them fixed.

How can I keep PM out of the air in my home?

One of the major contributors to dust and PM in homes is the burning of wood or coal for heating. If you know that particulate matter makes your breathing problems worse, switch to heating that is powered by gas or electricity.

You can further reduce PM in your home by not smoking or vaping indoors.

It’s also helpful to vacuum regularly to keep dust under control, and to wipe surfaces with a damp cloth. Using a damp cloth stops the dust from going into the air. If you have a cleaner, you may need to ask them to change their routine to keep dust in the air under control. Our post about getting best value from your cleaner has some tips on communicating with domestic cleaners.

Ways to reduce VOCs in your home

Volatile organic compounds can be kept to a minimum by using allergy-friendly cleaning and decorating products. Consider taking up carpets and having tiled or laminate floors instead.

Ventilate your home for better air quality

Opening a window a couple of times a day for ten or fifteen minutes can make an enormous difference to air quality. Fresh air will reduce the concentration of pollutants in your home. A word of warning, though: take note of the local outdoor air pollution levels from the Met Office.

Make cleaning easier to improve home air quality

It’s much easier to wipe down a clear surface; and you’ll be more likely to keep on top of chores like vacuuming if your space is well organised. Look for furnishings that can be wiped clean. Moving some of your domestic goods into storage can help you create an easy-to-clean, organised home and an improvement in air quality should follow.

You will need to have insurance at a public storage centre, so get a quote from Store and Insure today to see if we can help you make savings on your self-storage insurance.


Question and Answer


What are some examples of seasonal possessions?

Seasonal possessions are domestic goods that you don’t use all year round. An example might be warm winter clothing and thermal bedding, which you will not use during the summer months. Another example might be a barbecue and garden furniture that you only use during the summer but not so much in the winter. During the off-season you can put these things into storage so they are not cluttering up your home.