Over the past 3 months, wildfires raged across the western regions of the United States, destroying land and compromising air quality. I live in Colorado, and we noticed a huge difference in the air and sky when walking out our front door. It wasn’t the fresh mountain air we’re used to.
In addition to the smoke and pollution, there’s still Covid lingering in the air of public spaces when we venture outside our homes.
Now, more than ever, we need to keep our bodies and minds healthy. Poor air quality is not only linked to respiratory and heart diseases but also poor mental health and productivity. These toxins can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the lungs, heart, kidney, and liver.
Symptoms as simple as headaches, dizziness, sneezing, and congestion are all signs that you’re suffering from poor air quality. And I’m not just talking about outdoor air quality. Indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than the air quality outside.
Scary, I know.
We can’t control the outdoor elements, but we can take steps to protect ourselves. Here are 3 easy ways to eliminate toxins and purify the air you breathe.
1) Replace Air Filters Regularly
One of the best things you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to change your air filter. Pollutants including dust, pollen, smoke, and animal dander (also called particulate matter) can build up and clog your air filter.
A dirty filter prevents clean air from passing through, allowing harmful allergens to reside in your home and the air you breathe. This can be particularly dangerous for individuals who suffer from asthma or allergies.
In addition to preventing clean air from circulating, dirty filters can cause dust to build up in vents which creates a breeding ground for mold and fungal bacteria. Breathing this for extended periods of time can lead to long-term health side effects.
Change your filter every 60 to 90 days. The age of your HVAC system, if you have pets, where you live, and if someone resides in the house who has health concerns or allergies will determine the exact frequency it needs to be done.
It’s easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life and forget important tasks such as changing the air filter. Try setting a reminder on your phone. Or make a note on the calendar. Leave extra filters in sight so they serve as a reminder.
This little chore can do wonders for indoor air quality and your health.
2) Check the Air Quality Index in Your County
(If in the US, use www.airnow.gov. If you live in other regions around the world, try to find a similar website near you.)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here in the United States releases daily safety ratings that give us a standard measurement of the quality of the air. This is called the air quality index (AQI), and it can be obtained for any given state.
The EPA bases their measurement on five major air pollutants: particle pollution, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Ground-level ozone and particle pollution are the two main culprits for poor air quality.
Ground-level ozone includes smog, and particle pollution consists of dirt, dust, smoke, and soot. The exact particles that are so prevalent in today’s air.
AQI is reported using a color and number system with 6 levels. An AQI value between 0 to 50 falls in the green level and poses no risk to us. Anything above that comes with warnings.
If the AQI is bad, limit outdoor activities and steer clear of the harmful air toxins. When the air quality is poor and you spend time outdoors, you’re not only breathing in the toxins, you’re also taking a chance of bringing them into your home and contaminating your indoor air quality.
3) Diffuse Your Air with Essential Oils
Essential oils make your house smell good, and they improve the quality of your air. That’s right, they can control odor and kill germs! Studies have shown that some essential oils purify air by preventing the growth of airborne bacteria while reducing microbial contamination.
Two of my favorite essential oils are tea tree and eucalyptus. Clinical studies have found that when diffused into the air, tea tree and eucalyptus oils have the ability to kill airborne flu germs.
Citrus oils, such as lemon or orange, are also airborne germ destroyers. The high levels of limonene prevent mold and fungal bacteria that often builds up in vents and filters, especially during the moist, humid months.
Zapping these airborne germs can fight off colds and greatly improve respiratory issues.
Between air pollutants, Covid, and the encroaching flu, we need to be diligent to move what potential contaminants we can out of the house. We also need to be knowledgeable on our local air quality.
Clean air is essential to healthy lungs and a healthy life.
Host of Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science
& Founder of The Sacred Science