The coronavirus and its nasty attack on the lungs is on everyone’s minds. And, as we take increasingly careful measures to keep ourselves safe by staying home, many of us are thinking about ways we can improve the air quality within our walls. While there is no evidence that better indoor air quality can aid in the fight against the coronavirus, we know that poor air quality can exacerbate asthma and allergies and potentially worsen the conditions for people afflicted with the coronavirus. And, “Air pollution can boost levels of inflammation in the lungs, making patients more vulnerable to other infections,” said Cleveland.com.
Here are several things you can do to improve the air quality in your home now.
Change your air filters
Do you change the air filters in your home every 30 days? That’s what many filter companies recommend. If it’s been a while, go ahead and order yourself some filters. And get the good ones.
“Quality air filters improve your indoor air by eliminating more contaminant particles like pollutants and allergens, as well as keeping dust build-up down; more than standard filters can,” said HVAC.com. “A good quality air filter can also improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment through contaminant reduction.”
Get an air purifier
“Air purifiers usually consist of a filter, or multiple filters, and a fan that sucks in and circulates air,” said Good Housekeeping. “As air moves through the filter, pollutants and particles are captured and the clean air is pushed back out into the living space.”
There are other reasons to consider air purifiers. “Beyond respiratory concerns, there’s also growing evidence that simple in-room purifiers can clean air enough to boost cognitive development and academic performance,” said Curbed. “A remarkable study was conducted in LA after the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak, where plug-in air purifiers were installed in businesses and schools within a five-mile radius of the gas facility as part of the mitigation process. These were larger, industrial-sized units that run about $700, but just adding them to school classrooms improved test scores, the study authors say—the equivalent of cutting class size by a third. This alone seems like an excellent argument for putting at least one purifier in the same room as your child’s brain.”
Get some plants
Certain kinds of plants can help you purify the air and lower your stress level. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, which was designed to find ways to clean the air in sealed space stations, plants can be effective to absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the air, and remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene,” said Yahoo. “These chemicals can cause irritation to the skin, ears, eyes, nose, and throat, as well as some cancers, according to the EPA. The study suggests that at least one plant per 100 square feet can effectively clean the air.”
NASA picked several plants for their detoxification qualities, including: The snake plant, which can “release oxygen at night;” peace lily, which “produces fragrant flowers all summer long, and effectively removes ammonia, formaldehyde, trichlorobenzene, and benzene from the air;” bamboo palm, a “fast-growing houseplant” that will “add moisture to the air in the dry winter months and… thrives in indirect sunlight;” and parlor palm, which is “perfect for new plant parents” because it “requires minimal maintenance.”
Get a salt lamp
Not only do they bring a bit of sparkle and nature into your space, but Himalayan salt lamps are also thought to potentially have healing properties. “Combined with a light source inside the lamps, the chunks of salt produce negative ions, which yield positive effects on indoor air,” said The Jerusalem Post. “Placing a Himalayan salt lamp in every room of the home can reap several health and environmental benefits.”
Keep the house clean
“Vacuuming and dusting and cleaning surfaces more regularly to remove dust, particulates and other lung irritants, as well as prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Cleveland.com.