If you are experience a sinus dry-out this winter from all that additional time spent indoors during the cold winter months, there easy and natural ways to improve your indoor air quality.  Your heat is on more as the temperatures drop and you are deprived of fresh clean air so much more during the winter.  Whether your home is new or old, it could be harboring invisible toxins.  Chemical compounds are found in emissions from paint, plastics, carpet, cleaning solutions, and numerous building materials. To purify your air and eliminate these toxins, here are some tips to help ensure your indoor air quality is improved and you’ll be able to breathe easier.

Most furnaces recommend changing the filter every 3 months which is important to avoid the dust and toxin buildup on the filter from being recirculated into your house.  There are also a wide variety of filters to choose from.   The more dense the actual filter, the less that gets through and the more that is cleaned from your indoor air. 

Houseplants are another simple way to purify the air in your home.  One of nature’s gifts to us is that plants naturally remove pollutants from the air.  While complimenting your décor, they are always busy removing toxins such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia and more.

It is recommended for maximum air purifying, that a 2,000 sq. ft home have 15 to 20 plants with at least 6 inch pots kept around the home, largely grouped in each room rather than single plants spread out.  If you don’t have the room for that many plants-remember that even a smaller amount will improve your indoor air quality. 

All plants remove toxins but some are known to remove the most amount of toxins. The top air purifying houseplants include the Peace Lily, Dracaena, Chrysanthemum, Bamboo Palm, Golden Pothos, English Ivy, Chinese Evergreen, Areca Palm, Aloe Vera, Spider Plant, Boston Fern and Ficus Plant.  Some of these names may sound exotic but they are actually very common houseplants and if you aren’t the decorator-you may already have them in your home. 

If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry-there are other ways to improve your indoor air quality.  Regular paraffin candles are petroleum derived and can release chemicals like benzene, toluene, soot and other chemicals into the air. Burning these should be avoided as they do more harm than good for indoor air quality.  Pure Beeswax Candles burn longer and with almost no smoke or scent while cleaning the air by releasing negative ions into the air. These negative ions can bind with toxins and help remove them from the air.  These are especially beneficial to those with asthma or allergies because they are effective at removing common allergens like dust and dander from the air.

Himalayan Salt lamps are another natural air purifier.  A salt lamp is a lamp carved from a larger salt crystal, often colored, with an incandescent bulb or a candle inside. The lamps give an attractive glow and are suitable for use as nightlights or for ambient mood lighting.  When switched on or lit, the bulb or flame heats the salt to release negative ions into the air that bind to toxins, creating an effect similar to an ionizer, purifying the surrounding air. 

Using any or all of these in your home will improve your indoor air quality and help you breathe easier.