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5 Easy Home Tweaks for Cleaner Air

Breathe better, starting now!


Turns out there are 5x more pollutants indoors than out! Here, quick ways to usher refreshing air into your home and breathe healthier.

Drift off to dreamland by opening the door.

The buildup of carbon dioxide in your bedroom at night as you exhale can trigger restless sleep. Luckily, the remedy is as easy as opening your bedroom door: In a recent study, this simple move dialed down carbon dioxide levels by 36 percent by increasing air circulation, leading volunteers to fall asleep faster and enjoy more restorative Zzzs.

Cue calm with a citrus spritz.

Lingering odors in the air, from pets or smoke, are shown to ratchet up stress levels. To soothe your nerves fast, mist a solution of two cups of water, one teaspoon of white vinegar and five drops of essential oil, such as lemon or lavender, into the air or onto stinky upholstery. Acetic acid in vinegar neutralizes odor while the essential oil infuses the air with a pleasant aroma.

Snuff out sneezes by reducing moisture.

Allergy-inducing mold multiplies in humid air, and with fall cooking gearing up, that means more moisture. The fix: Turn on your exhaust or open a kitchen window when you’re cooking to send water vapor outside and prevent mold from growing.

Ward off colds and coughs by letting in sunlight.

For a healthier, happier home, just pull back the curtains and let the sun shine in! Ultraviolet rays in sunlight are natural disinfectants, reducing the number of microbes in the air that trigger coughs and colds by about 50 percent, according to recent research from the University of Oregon and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Boost all-day energy with ‘night owl’ houseplants.

Some furniture can release energy-sapping chemicals like benzene into the air. To the rescue: houseplants such as succulents, orchids and spider plants, whose leaves trap pollutants during the day, then produce invigorating oxygen after dark. Place these air purifiers throughout your home to keep your energy and spirits up.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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