Given that Americans spend, on average, 90 percent of their lives indoors, it’s a good idea to do what we can to keep our indoor air pure. Indoor air can be much more polluted than outdoor air, and it has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart trouble, strokes, allergies, asthma, and chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Let’s discuss How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Winter.

What worsens indoor air quality?

Some of the harmful chemicals commonly found in American homes include toluene (paint thinners), xylene (common tar), ammonia (fertilizers and cleaners), benzene, and trichloroethylene (man-made fibers and printed materials), and formaldehyde (insecticides and particle board). These types of toxins are inherently dangerous to everyone, but they can be particularly harmful to those with respiratory illnesses like COPD.

Because the variables of unpacking dusty holiday decorations, staying inside in colder weather, and traveling during the holidays can result in our spending time in different indoor environments, we’ve put together a few ways to keep your indoor spaces healthy places to breathe. With these tips to improve indoor air quality in winter, you’ll be able to breathe better.

Don’t Smoke

And especially if you suffer from a chronic lung disease, don’t allow others to smoke around you. If you suffer from COPD and are currently smoking, please consider stopping. We know it’s hard, but as we’ve mentioned, the dangers of smoking are deadly serious. Ranked 7th in the nation’s top New Year’s resolutions, smoking cessation is essential to improving the smoker’s life, not to mention everyone who lives near that person.

Try Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are made of a pink rock salt mined in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, and when a rock of suitable size is found, it is converted into a salt lamp. By carving a hollow into the crystal and replacing it with an incandescent bulb, the heat that is emitted from the base emits negative ions into the air working to remove toxins in the air and neutralize them. Himalayan salt lamps are known for their beautiful pinkish glow, but they are also known to promote sleep and well-being.

Use Beeswax Candles Instead of Traditional Candles

Beeswax candles do not emit smoke. Traditional candles are typically derived from petroleum products and may release benzene, toluene or soot into the air. In contrast, beeswax candles are known to produce negative ions in the air that help in the removal of air pollution and other toxins. Another benefit of beeswax candles is their burn rate, which is significantly slower than traditional wax or paraffin candles, meaning they last longer.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Winter

Bring In Some Plants

As we’ve mentioned before, plants naturally take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Some species of plants also absorb air pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, xylene, and ammonia. Of all the air-purifying plants available, NASA has suggested the Peace Lily as the most effective. It requires very little water or sunlight. Other good options include ferns, spider plants, and aloe vera.

Pick Up Some Bamboo Charcoal

Also known as activated charcoal, bamboo charcoal is odorless and highly absorptive. In some cases used as a makeshift water filter, bamboo charcoal can have the same effect in air purification by removing toxins and odor in the atmosphere. These properties make it great to help improve indoor air quality in winter. Packaged in a linen bag, bamboo charcoal works to absorb unpleasant odors, remove bacteria, harmful pollutants, and allergens, and dehumidify the air. However, the most remarkable aspect of bamboo charcoal is its longevity. Safe for children and pets, bamboo charcoal can rejuvenate itself if placed in sunlight once a month, and can be reused for up to two years. Afterward, it can be used as a fertilizer.

Dust, Vacuum, and Mop

Keeping a clean home is essential to better indoor air quality. Dust regularly, wearing a mask and vacuum often with a high-quality vacuum cleaner. This will help limit dust buildup in your home. Mop floors at least twice a month, but be sure to use non-chemical-based cleaners. Remember to use fragrance-free and natural cleaners to reduce flare-ups from chemical fumes. If it’s difficult to dust and mop, ask a friend to help.

Dehumidify Your Home

Humidity makes our homes hospitable to dust and mold. Consider installing a de-humidifier. Keep your exhaust fan running when you are cooking, and always fix leaks immediately to prevent mold growth.

Test for Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas naturally occurring in the ground. It can contribute to a variety of lung conditions. By purchasing a radon test at your local hardware store, you can be sure your home is radon-free, or take proper measures if you discover it isn’t.

Improve Indoor Air Quality in Winter and Improve Your Quality of Life

Along with these tips to improve indoor air quality in winter, take proactive steps to improve your quality of life. Many patients have reported feeling better and breathing easier after having cellular therapy.

The Lung Health Institute is a leading medical provider of regenerative cellular therapy for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, and interstitial lung disease in the United States. To date, the organization has treated over 2,500 patients. The Lung Health Institute’s in-house outcomes summary shows that 83 percent of patients studied saw an improvement in their quality of life. Founded in 2013 in Tampa, Fla., the Lung Health Institute currently operates clinics in Tampa, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Pittsburgh, Pa., and Dallas, Texas.