Effective Air-Cleaning Plants

Air purifiers are extremely good at cleaning the air, but if you want to clean indoor air in the ‘greenest way’, house plants are a good alternative. NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America examined common houseplants to find out which of them are the most effective at removing pollutants. Here is the list of seven house plants that proved to be good air-cleaners:

1. Bamboo Palm

This small palm that was especially popular as a houseplant during the Victorian era features long, slender leaves. What’s great is that the bamboo palm is very undemanding – it likes dry soil, low light, and infrequent fertilization.

bamboo-palm

2. Peace Lily

The peace lily is also very undemanding and prefers low light. Plus, it blooms throughout the entire year. This house plant gets rid of many chemicals, including benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

peace lily

3. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

This house plant with leaves in a variety of dark green and silver green colors is extremely durable and can survive almost any conditions. If taken care of, it can be your favorite house plant for decades.

chinese-evergreen

4. English Ivy

Unlike many other vines, the growth of English ivy can be controlled and you may rest assured that it will not overpower other plants. This popular Ivy eliminates xylene, formaldehyde and benzene, which makes it very useful in a room with plastic furniture, printers, fax machines and computers.

english-ivy

5. Corn Plant

This tall-growing house plant is a little factory converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. However, the corn plant requires rich soil for full development, and quickly exhausts it.

6. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

Unlike the previous plant, the mother- in-law’s tongue is very easy to grow. It is a good choice for dim spots and is practically indestructible.

mother-in-law's-tongue

7. Philodendron

This house plant with shiny and dark green leaves is quite popular and hard-to-kill. The philodendron is especially good at filtering out formaldehyde found in carpets, floor coverings, fabrics, and pressed wood.

philodendron

What is The Best Air Purifier for the Bedroom?

Bedroom is a place where people spend one third of their life. It is where we sleep and breathe for approximately 8 hours a day. So the air inside our bedroom is very important.

apartment-bedroom

According to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the bedroom must be cleaned regularly for it contains animal dander, pollens, dust mites, and other agents that cause allergy. EPA prefers the use of vacuum cleaner that has a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to vacuum the carpet and furniture covered with fabric to lessen the buildup of dust. source

Sick young female relaxing in her bed

The bedroom can also contain molds, spores, hair, dust, odors, gases, and chemicals. The standard mattress can release gases from chemicals used in the process of manufacturing the product. Air fresheners can also contribute to the bedroom pollution instead of reducing it.

air freshener

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll and found that Americans love their bedrooms. Americans where asked, what bedroom elements help you sleep? Below is the poll result that shows the percentage of Americans who claim that these bedroom elements are significant to having a good sleep at night.

  • A comfortable mattress (92%)
  • Comfortable pillows (91%)
  • Comfortable feel of sheets and bedding (85%)
  • Cool room temperature (79%)
  • Fresh air, free of allergens (75%)
  • Dark room (73%)
  • Quiet room (72%)

 

The result of the poll above greatly shows that 75% percent of Americans claim that to have a good night sleep, the bedroom air must be fresh and free of allergens.

After the survey, the National Sleep Foundation gave a tip that people should make their bedrooms a sleeping sanctuary. The basic building blocks in making the best environment for sleeping are cool temperature, quietness, fresh air and comfort.

Since the bedroom air is one of the factors that contribute to having a good night sleep and health, the National Sleep Foundation is happy to introduce the first product for bedroom to carry the name of National Sleep Foundation.

The product is an air purifier called The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine. It is designed and developed by Austin Air Systems. This air purifier was chosen for use in a new study of Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health on bedroom air quality and asthma. It is also used by the University of Buffalo in a number of studies on asthma and environment. source

The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machines

The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine is equipped with the most advanced filtering system that Austin Air Systems has ever designed. The filtering system of this air purifier is built and designed to meet the Johns Hopkins University Medical School’s requirements to capture submicron particles and gasses.

It combines filter technologies that are proven to provide effective and safe answer to improved sleep. The air passes through 15 lb of activated carbon at a rate of 250 cubic feet per minute. The air also passes through the High Efficiency Gas Adsorber (HEGA) Carbon Cloth and True Medical Grade High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter at a rate of 60 square feet per minute.

The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine can remove a wide range of pollutants like chemicals, noxious gases and sub-micron particles. One of the great features of this machine is its ability to draw air into all sides called the 360 degrees progressive filtering system, and passes it through its 5-stage filter.

5 Filter Stages:

The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine

The 5-stages filter can remove the following:

The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine removes

The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Machine is definitely the BEST air purifier for the bedroom, because it is the only air purifier for bedroom endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation.

Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

We used to think that the air outside is dangerous to our health a decade ago because of the increasing pollution caused by burning fossil fuels and common organic pollutants. As a result, we stay inside our house worry free and feeling secured.

Well, the truth is that the air inside your home is actually more polluted than the air outside. The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office and Development conducted a study and found that the levels of about a dozen organic pollutants inside homes are two to five times higher compared to the air outside.

source

indoor-air-quality-considerations

What types of pollutants can an air cleaner remove?

Air purifier can remove the following indoor air pollutants:

1. Particulate matter

  • viruses

           light-virus-1

  • bacteria

           bacteria

  • molds

           molds

  • dust mites

           dust-mites

  • particles created from combustion appliances like cooking stoves

           cooking stove

  • tobacco smoke

           Tobacco-smoke

  • animal dander

           animal dander

  • pollen

           pollen

  • smoke

           rising_smoke

  • dusts

           42-21050498

 

2. Gaseous pollutants come from the process of combustion and from using building products:

  • pesticides

           pesticide

  • cleaning products

           cleaning products

  • varnishes

           varnish

  • paints

           paint

  • adhesives

           adhesive

  • cooking stoves

           cooking stove 2

  • tobacco smoke

           tobacco smoke

  • vehicle exhausts

           vehicle smoke

 

To better answer the question “Do air purifiers really work?”, we must first determine whether the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the use of air purifier.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Air cleaning may be useful when used along with source control and ventilation, but it is not a substitute for either method.
  • The use of air cleaning devices may help to reduce levels of smaller airborne allergens or particles.
  • While air cleaning devices may help to control the levels of airborne allergens, particles, or, in some cases, gaseous pollutants in a home, they may not decrease adverse health effects from indoor air pollutants.
  • The use of air cleaners alone cannot ensure adequate air quality, particularly where significant sources are present and ventilation is insufficient.
  • Clinicians frequently recommend that patients who have asthma or allergies use HEPA air filters in HVAC systems or in portable air cleaners.
  • Regardless of how efficient and effective air- cleaning devices are in removing pollutants, a question still remains about their ability to reduce adverse health effects.
  • An air cleaner’s ability to remove some airborne pollutants, including microorganisms, is not, in itself, an indication of the air cleaner’s ability to reduce health symptoms.

source

Now to answer the question “Do air purifiers really work?”, the answer is YES. But how well they perform will depend on the air purifier brands. While air purifiers are not enough to combat the air pollution inside our homes alone, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still consider them as an option if the ventilation method is not applicable in some weather conditions or when the contaminants level outside is undesirable.

Types of Air Purifier Technology That is Best for Allergies

Some people blame the air outside for their allergies and so they end up spending 90 percent of their time inside the house. Most of us think that the air inside our house is cleaner. Well, all of them are wrong. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the pollutants are 25 to 100 times higher in the air inside compared to the air outside.

source

indoor-air-pollution

Allergies are the body’s specific immune system reaction to a typically harmless substance such as medicines, pollens, or certain foods. source

allergies

For better understanding of what allergy is, below is an animation video from emedtv.com:

Some common allergies include:

common allergies

source

 

Air purifiers are not a solution for food allergens that causes food allergies, since air purifiers can only filter and clean the air. There are many types of air purifier technologies available according to allergyescape.com. These are HEPA filter air purifiers, Ozone air purifiers, Carbon air purifiers, Ionic air purifiers, Ultraviolet light air purifiers, and Purifying hydroxyl radicals air purifiers.

Below is a comparison chart of air purifier technology that can help us determine the best for removing airborne allergens.

comparison chart

source

 

Based on the comparison chart, HEPA and Ionizer air purifiers can remove allergens like dust, pollen, and mold spores. While the Ultraviolet lamp and Carbon air purifier, can only remove some of the allergens. Some air purifier brands combine two or more of the air purifier technologies.

We will now concentrate on the two air purifier technologies below, that can remove airborne allergens that cause allergies.

1. HEPA filter air purifier

HEPA filter 2

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA filters are originally designed to prevent radiation from coming out of the laboratories during World War II. HEPA filters use a cloth like filter that can trap 99.7 percent of airborne particles 0.3 microns or bigger in size. HEPA filters can be very efficient in removing practically any unsafe airborne particles in the indoor air. HEPA filters from air purifiers are replaceable. The service life of the HEPA filter will depend on how dirty is the air inside. Due to its high air resistant filter, this type of air purifier needs a powerful fan for the air to pass through. Because of that, some people complain of having a noisy machine.

hepa air purifier 2

Advantages: Once the airborne allergens are trapped, they could not return to the air.

Disadvantages: Can’t remove odors, cigarette smoke, gases, or chemical fumes.

2. Ionic Air Purifier

air ionizer

air ionizer 3

Unlike the HEPA air purifier, the Ionic air purifier doesn’t have a cloth like filter. The ionic air purifier works by ionizing the air. After the ionization, the airborne particulates will gain negative and positive charge.

air ionizer 2

There are two reasons why airborne particulates are ionized. First, ionic air purifiers have charged collection plates that will attract the oppositely charged airborne particles. These kind of ionic air purifiers are called “capture” ionic air purifiers. Second, the negative and positive charged particles will attract each other. Due to this attraction, the particles will increase in weight and will fall into the ground. These ionic air purifiers don’t have a charged plate, they simply release ions through the air. Other people prefer ionic air purifiers over HEPA air purifiers because they are very quiet.

ionic air purifier 2

Advantages: Even if the very fine airborne particles are several feet away, they can be removed anywhere in the room.

Disadvantages: They can’t remove odors and can’t kill germs. However, they remove the germs from the air.

8 Ways To Get Rid Of Cooking Odor

Many people love to cook at home but hate the smell that cooking leaves in your kitchen and even all over the house. Cooking spicy food, exotic recipes and roasting can leave the lingering smell all over your home especially if your home is fully air conditioned.

But that should not prevent you from enjoying the luxury of staying with your family at home and enjoy the fun of cooking. There are ways to eliminate the unwanted odor.

1. Air Fresheners

air freshener

Air fresheners are commercial or consumer products used in homes and restrooms to make the air fresh.

How air fresheners work? According to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) America, air freshener works in combination or one of the following:

how air freshener works

source

But despite the air freshener’s positive name, MCS America said that air fresheners do nothing or little to make the air fresh.

air fresheners do little

air fresheners do little 2

source

MCS America is not alone for having negative feedback in using air fresheners. ScienceDaily.com also posted that many cleaners and air fresheners may pose health risks when used indoors.

To avoid the health risks from using chemical air fresheners, use homemade air fresheners instead.

2. Proper ventilation

ventilation

Ventilation is the process of providing fresh air to an enclosed room and taking away contaminated air outside. Kitchen is one of the busiest places in your house. You you use it 3 times or more to cook food every day. Because of that, proper ventilation is recommended to reduce and eliminate cooking odors. For proper ventilation, here is a document in portable document format: “Ventilation – The Secret to a clean, odor free kitchen” courtesy of ARAcontent.

ventilation fan

3. Simmer Potpourri

simmering potpourri

Potpourri is a kind of air freshener made from cones, seeds, leaves, and dried flowers. source

Since it is a kind of air freshener, it only masks the odor using its scent. If you want to make an easy homemade simmering potpourri, below is an instructional video:

4. Vinegar

apple-cider-vinegar

Vinegar is a multipurpose liquid as a result of ethanol fermentation. Acetic acid is the main ingredient of vinegar that gives it an acidic taste. It is also famous in household cleaning applications. source

Because of the vinegar’s popularity as a multipurpose liquid, Richard Sweeney, an eHOw contributor posted instructions on how to eliminate odors with vinegar.

clean with vinegar

5. Make some coffee

coffee aroma

Coffee lovers will love this idea. Coffee is a brewed drink coming from roasted coffee beans.

coffee beans

The idea here is to mask the cooking odor with the aroma of coffee. It will not only mask the odor, according to ScientificAmerican.com, just smelling coffee helps head.

6. Baking Soda

baking soda

Some people think that baking soda and baking powder are the same. But actually, they are not. So, what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, while baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, acidifying agent and drying agent.

Baking soda is a chemical salt with various practical uses. Baking soda is commonly used in baking as leavening agent.

source

baking soda cleaning

So, How to remove odors from home using baking soda? Well, just sprinkle the baking soda into the rugs and carpets and leave it there overnight. Then vacuum it all up in the morning when you wake up. Put a tablespoon of baking soda combined with vinegar into your sink drain to freshen it.

7. Scrubbing

scrub

Some cooking odors came from the sticking grease from cupboards, ceilings, walls, cookware and stoves. If you clean those areas, make sure that you include those tricky areas.

An eHow contributor, Deborah Waltenburg will also help you on how to clean cooking grease.

8. Air Purifiers

Air Purifiers are made to clean the air pollutants inside your house. Actually, the level of pollutants in the air inside is 25 to 100 times HIGHER than outside according to the United States Environmental Agency.

Not all air purifiers can remove odor. Only those air purifiers with carbon filter and ozone generator can remove odor, like the odor from cooking. source

comparison chart

Carbon air purifier – this kind of air purifier uses activated carbon filters, a highly effective filter that captures odor, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and gases.

source

carbon air purifier 2

Ozone generator air purifier – this kind of air purifier uses ozone, an oxidant that is highly reactive in destroying chemicals and bacteria.

source

ozone air purifier 2

5 Ways Of Eliminating Cigarette Smell From Your House

Cigarette is made from fine tobacco leaves wrapped and rolled in a thin paper to form a cylinder. We all know that smoking is dangerous to our health. Many countries around the world put warning message on tobacco packages. The purpose of the warning message is to educate people on the harmful effects of cigarette.

cigarette warning

For non-smokers, you may be puzzled or had a hard time understanding why other people smoke even if they know the health risks involved. The effect of smoking on human health is very serious.

So, what is in a cigarette? According to American Lung Association, there are about 600 ingredients in cigarettes and there are over 4000 chemicals produced when the cigarette is burned. 50 of those chemicals are known poisonous and can cause cancer.

quitSmoking

When you are a cigarette smoker, it is very hard to get rid of the cigarette smell from your clothes or your house. This is due to the variety of chemicals from the cigarette. Since the smell coming from the cigarette is in smoke form, it can easily seep through the clothing, lampshades, curtains, furniture, bedspreads, rugs, carpets, flooring, walls, etc.

There are ways of eliminating cigarette smell from your house. They range from natural chemicals to air purifiers. These include:

 

1. Vinegar

vinegarVinegar has been used by ancient people for thousands of years. It is very famous as a condiment and food ingredient. Vinegar is an acid created from ethanol fermentation. What gives the vinegar its acidic taste is the fact that its key ingredient is acetic acid.

source

fermentation

The acetic properties of vinegar make it perfect as household cleaner and odor eliminator.

What cause cigarette smell are the leftover tars and resins from smoking. Known for its acetic property, vinegar will remove those leftovers from a variety of surfaces and some fabrics. The steps on how to remove cigarette odors with vinegar can be found here.

Due to its cleaning power, vinegartips.com compiled 1001 uses for white distilled vinegar.

 

2. Cleaning the carpet or rug

carpetIf you bought a house from a heavy smoker, there is a big chance that leftovers from the cigarette have accumulated in the carpet. What you should do is to clean the carpet immediately because the longer the cigarette smell stays in your carpet, the harder it is to remove.

washing carpet

There are 5 steps in deep cleaning and deodorizing your carpet using laundry detergents according to Mel Frank, who completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites.

 

3. Baking Soda

baking sodaBaking soda also called sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda is a famous chemical salt commonly used as a leavening agent in baking. What makes the baking soda effective in removing cigarette smell is its action of neutralizing the scent molecules.

source

You can dust the furniture, beddings and carpets with baking soda powder and then leave it there to settle for 3 to 5 hours or overnight. When the powder absorbed enough smell, you can easily use the vacuum cleaner to clean it up.

source

baking soda carpet

4. Curtains and Furniture need to be cleaned

                       curtain    furniture

Curtains are used to control the light and insulation of the house. Curtains and furniture in our house are mostly made of cloth. Cloth has a lot of tiny holes that can easily let the air pass through and filter larger particles like from the cigarette. Because of that, cigarette smell can easily cling into the cloth.

curtain cleaning

You can remove the cigarette smell or any other odor by following these 8 simple steps on how to remove smoke smell from curtains by Jesse Gunther.

For cleaning the furniture, Isaiah David posted instructions on how to remove smoke smell from furniture.

furniture cleaning

5. Air Purifiers

According to allergyescape.com, there are 6 types of air purifier technology available today. These are HEPA, Ionizer, Ultra violet lamp, Carbon filter, Ozone generators, and Purifying hydroxyl radicals air purifier.

comparison chart

Based on the chart, only the Ionizer, Carbon filter, and Ozone generator type air purifiers can remove cigarette smoke. For odors like cigarette smells, only Carbon filter and Ozone generator can get rid of it.

Carbon Air Purifiers – this type of air purifiers use activated carbon as air filter to adsorb odors and bond to the carbon.

Activated Carboncarbon air purifier

Ozone Air Purifiers – this type of air purifiers use highly reactive oxidant ozone that breaks down substances in the air and turning them into other materials. But there is a safety precaution you should take before using these types of air purifiers.

              ozone

ozone air purifier

source

Three Reasons Your Salon Needs Air Purifier

People constantly want to look good, so they go to salons to give themselves a whole new look. Many people don’t know that a salon can be dangerous to their health for the air inside contains a lot of chemicals coming from the beauty products and microscopic hairs from clients. To eliminate all of these, salon needs to have an air purifier.

hair salon

Below are the three reasons stated by Debbie Davis why you need to filter your salon air continuously.

1. Client Satisfaction

Some salon products contain harsh fumes and chemicals that can be hazardous to clients. You need to make sure that your clients are healthy for your salon depends on them. If your clients smell a lot of those harmful chemicals, they may not return to your salon.

In this situation, you need to purchase a good air purifier that can filter harsh chemicals and odor.

2. Health of the Staff

People who work in the salon are more exposed to the harmful chemicals compared to the clients. They can be prone to burning eyes, dry throat, nausea, and dull headache from inhaling volatile chemicals from salon products like dyes, perms, pedicures, and manicures.

3. Exceeding Air Quality Standards

Many local governments and state are now requiring salon owners to provide proof that there is enough filtration and circulation of air inside their salons. Having an air purifier will give you an advantage for it will put you way ahead of your competition.

Salon-Air