Tips to Improve Air Quality in your Apartment

Source: WSJ Blog, Air Pollution in Delhi
Source: WSJ Blog, Air Pollution in Delhi

Most major cities in India suffer from poor air quality, and there are times it becomes a serious health hazard for the entire city’s population. Delhi NCR and other parts of northern India have seen some severe episodes of pollution in the past few years. While policy makers try to determine what they can do at a broader level, here are some things we can do in our homes to reduce the level of pollutants.

Plants for air purification

Peace lilies
Source: Mother Nature Network, Peace lilies

We live in a day and age with fancy expensive gadgets. However, whatever you can do naturally is preferable to using gizmos. NASA has published a list of plants that naturally remove the toxins from the air and make it more breathable. As a thumb rule one plant per room in the house will make your air much cleaner.

Link: Some plants to consider

Invest in an air purifier

Having an air purifier around the house may be a good supplement to your plants, especially when conditions are extremely bad outside. While we aren’t going to begin to try to evaluate the air purifiers in the market, we will say that go for a purifier with a HEPA filter and no ozone emissions.

Clean your filters

Clean your filters
Source: Crucial Vacuum, Clean your filters

Make sure you keep you filters clean, whether its for your air purifiers, or your ACs and heaters.

Air out your space

If possible, during the time of the day when the air is the cleanest, open up your windows to let some outside air in. There are some toxins, emissions that are produced inside your house that no purifier will help with.

Buy a vacuum cleaner

While vacuum cleaners aren’t common in India, it may be time for us to start investing in one if we have carpets in the house. Carpets accumulate plenty of dust, and what’s thrown up during sweeping can be quite harmful to inhale. A vacuum will help suck in the dirt so it doesn’t spread into the air around us.

Avoid Incense sticks

Incense sticks are common around the house whether for religious purposes or fragrance. However, its yet another source for particulate matter in your house that can be avoided.

Use natural cleaning products (non-toxic)

Some of our house-cleaning products have chemicals in them, which are harmful and make us uncomfortable when inhaled. While this may be hard to do, it can help to try to find natural alternatives to the chemical cleaners so you don’t spread air pollutants in your home every day.

Groom your pets

Groom your pets
Groom your pets

Your pets are fuzzy, furry creatures that you like to cozy up to. However at the same time the fur attracts dust and particulates, which can do you harm. Keep your pets groomed regularly to minimize impact.

 

Some of these may not move the needle largely on their own when it comes to reducing air pollution but they are small things you can do in your home to make things better.

Safety tips during construction and renovation

Construction Safety

The concept of renovation insurance is rare in India, which is why it is important that you pay extra attention to the safety measures been taken by your contractor, both for the safety of your house as well as the labor on site whose health and safety is most often ignored. Here are some pointers on how to stay vigilant.

  1. Don’t allow smoking during construction.
  2. Remove combustible debris from site everyday.
  3. Provide fire extinguishers.
  4. Store paints, solvents and combustible material safely.
  5. Also dispose of solvent stained cloth safely.
  6. Make sure that the labor is wearing protective gear: helmets, face masks, gloves etc.
  7. Keep the air clean: painting, sanding, adhesives etc. cause toxic fumes which should never be inhaled.
  8. Keep the fan on and try and do as much of the work outdoors as possible.
  9. Insist on keeping children (yours or anyone else’s) away from the construction, same for pets.

Feel free to suggest any other safety tips you have in mind, in the comment section.