When I was on holidays in China a while back I became a little bit obsessed with air quality. Landing in Beijing, I immediately noticed the blanket of thick hazy smog that smothered the city most of the time. My friends, who I had come to visit talked about the ‘Air Pollution Index’ every day, and used the readings on the apps on their phones to determine how often they went outside. Some days, it was better simply not to.
Being able to see the pollution in the air reminded me of an experiment I’d done as a kid. It was simple: smear a paper plate with Vaseline and hang it outside for a day. When you bring it in you can see all the dirt particles that stuck to the Vaseline from the air. I remember being surprised at how much there was in our suburban cul-de-sac, with a creek down the road. Then I remembered what the inside of a water filter looks like, even when it’s simply filtering clear water out of the tap, and it made me wonder how bad the air pollution actually was at home.
When I got back to Australia, the reading I did confirmed the simple experiment I’d done as a child. Just because I couldn’t see it like I could in Beijing didn’t mean it wasn’t there.
Sure, you might think about it more when dodging aggressive spring pollen or car exhaust fumes in the city. But the same stuff that hits you out of the home can be present in your house too.
In fact, there are even some types of air pollution you’re more likely to find at home. Like mould spores. A friend of mine had to move houses because of the rising damp that spread throughout her home and made it hard to breathe.
Australians spend an estimated 90 percent of their time indoors – so it’s important to have clean, healthy air to breathe. The CSIRO has previously estimated that indoor air pollution may cost the economy as much as $12 billion a year.
While Australian air is generally pretty clean, the air inside your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside¹. It’s because of the concentration of pollutants like chemical cleaning products, gas, paint fumes, mould, pet dander and other potential irritants.
According to Queensland Government’s Healthy Homes report, the people who are most likely to be affected are the elderly, those with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular disease, and of course, young kids.
But there are some simple steps you can take to help lower air pollution in your house. First up is keeping on top of the dusting and cleaning, paying special attention to wet areas where mould can grow like bathrooms and kitchens.
Then, make sure your home is well ventilated with good movement of air to make sure wet areas stay dry and mould free, and everywhere else is getting a regular supply of fresh, happily circulating air. Open your windows and let some fresh air in.
If that’s not enough for you—maybe you’re allergy prone, or you live on a main road, or your bathroom has a persistent mould problem that will not go away, or you have small kids, or live with an elderly relative — there are products you can buy that will help to purify the air in your home and tell you what the pollution levels are like.
The Dyson Pure Hot+Cold Link purifier is an air purifier, fan and heater in one. It automatically captures gases and 99.95 percent of fine particles, including allergens and pollutants, and traps them². It also adjusts depending on the level of pollution in the room, and can rid the air of some of the annoying things that bother allergy and asthma sufferers.
It also has night mode settings, enabling you to leave it on through the night without it disrupting your sleep. And the filter is long lasting— one will get you through a whole year if you are using your purifier 12 hours a day.
The best part? You can monitor the air quality of your home from the Dyson Link app on your phone, and control it remotely.
Air pollution at home doesn’t need to be something you worry about. With a few little changes at home, some plants, a bit more diligence in the bathroom, and an air purifier, you can pretty much forget about it.
Maybe even finally get that cat you’ve always wanted - you won’t have to worry about breathing in the dander particles
How do you keep the air at home clean? Tell us your tips in the comments section below.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Dyson.
¹Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.
²Particle capture tested to EN1822. Gaseous capture tested to JEM 1467 (acetic acid, acetaldehyde, ammonia) and GB/T18801 (formaldehyde, benzene) and DTM-003282 (NO2). Gaseous capture rates vary.
The Dyson Pure Hot+Cold Link purifier automatically captures gases and fine particles such as allergens and pollutants in the air². Use it all year round to heat you during winter or cool you with a fan during summer. Connected to your Dyson Link app, you can control your purifier and monitor indoor air quality, even when you’re not at home.