Improving Indoor Air Quality in Covid-19 Times

We live in strange times, don’t we? Everyday habits are now luxury; hugging and touching family and friends is now taboo all in a bid to avoid transmission of the now famous corona virus. As much as boosting our immune systems and social distancing is advised and all, we are most likely going to spend a greater chunk of time indoors and this calls for active steps to clean and improve indoor air quality otherwise poor indoor air quality will compromise our health and immune system and staying indoors which is one of the recommended protocols in the virus fight will rather become counterproductive. If you are all set for the tips, let’s go!

Shall We Get Some House Plants

Did you know that houseplants actually breathe? It thus forms a nice exchange – while we humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, plants absorb these dioxides by breathing them in and breathing out oxygen. So you see, it’s a very healthy and complementary relationship which affords us cleaner and fresher air. Here are some recommended house plants for your consideration.

Aloe Plant is very robust, requires little or no care yet very useful in combating the effects of toxins released into the air. It is useful for cuts, burns, and detoxing your body. One way to note its efficacy is when you notice that its leaves show brown spots, there is an abundance of harmful chemicals in the air.

Then there is the snake plant which beyond aesthetics releases oxygen during the night and requires little water or light to grow. It is thus a very handy and useful plant in cleaning and purifying air. Knowing these attributes, I am sure you will never look at those snake plants ever the same again.

Use Non-Toxic Household Cleaning Products

In my readings I chanced upon this statistic – “95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (yep, crude oil) and include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene, and many other known toxic chemicals”. Confused just as I was? You must be right, these are very technical but one thing we can easily surmise is that breathing in these can definitely be hazardous. So, how do we mitigate the threats?  Choose “unscented” and “fragrance-free” products for laundry and cleaning purposes. Traditional household cleaning products are one of the leading contributors to indoor air quality problems. Look for scents that are plant-based, as well as good old baking soda to eliminate odours in the house.

Candles Are Perfect Air Purifiers

I am pretty sure the only times you ever pay any attention to candles are when you reach for the drawer to pull them out to illuminate your space when there is “dumsor”. But candles are far and so much more useful beyond power cuts. Beeswax candles especially have air purifying qualities, as these candles burn they release negative ions. Research shows that pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and any other junk in the air carry a positive charge, so when a beeswax candle is burning the negative ions released into the air cause these positively charged particles to be sucked into the candles or to fall from suspension. This negative ion air charging is the way many air purifiers work. Beeswax candles are 100% natural and not only reduce contaminants in your home, they smell good and create a wonderful ambiance too. But please remember to put them out completely before you go to bed.

There you have it folks, a few tips to make that home or indoor space where we will be spending loads of time in this COVID 19 times, a bit more cleaner and healthier. Do share with me as always if you have any tips as well. Remember to stay safe and practice all the protocols.


The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult & Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.

Email: [email protected]

Linkedin: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh

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