The Block's Michael and Carlene Duffy share six home renovation tips that can improve your home's indoor air quality.
Following recent research by Phillips Air which revealed that indoor air quality is often up to five times worse than outdoor air, and that Aussies are quite unaware about air pollution in their own homes, renovators and parents, Michael and Carlene Duffy from The Block, are also urging people to be aware of potential indoor pollutants such as pollen, household dust, pet dander and dust mites, as well as ways to rid them from the family home.
Often, these particles are so small in size they are not visible to the human eye, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
1. Air Purifiers
Indoor air pollution can be tricky to keep in check as it’s invisible! Philips Air Purifiers give real-time air quality feedback through a numerical allergen index and colour ring which lights up in real time even with the slightest changes in air quality. It removes 99.97% of airborne allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mite. So you can rest assured you are breathing clean air.
2. Keep It Natural
Some paints and flooring contain gases that continue to emit after installation, which can irritate allergies and create lower air quality. When buying carpet, flooring, and paint, be sure to choose low or no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Low-level VOC products are often a little more money, but a worthy investment. All paint tins will state VOC levels on the side, but be sure to consult your supplier or outlet if you’re unsure.
Add more houseplants to your home, not only do they look great and make your house feel homely, but they also help filter airborne pollutants. Some plants are better than others at this – for example, bamboo palm, snake plant, and peace lily are all great at absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air and releasing oxygen.
4. Kitchen Fans
Gas stoves can be a major cause of indoor air pollution, so installing a strong and powerful extractor fan above the stove is essential in helping combat that. With a lot of our projects, we use retractable fans to keep the aesthetics clean and minimal in the kitchen.
5. Trickle Vents
Airflow is crucial for good indoor air quality. Trickle ventilators are the best option for getting outside air into your home through a filter, which will increase the airflow and help remove stagnant air. High-risk areas such as the kitchen are good places to house these. The vents can be easily retrofitted and installed to most buildings and even become part of an existing window or door frame to blend seamlessly into current fittings.
6. Fresh Furniture
Be aware that a lot of furniture is made with solvents that continue to release toxins into the air when delivered into homes, long after they have left the factory floor. It’s always worth asking the production methods used, to try and overcome this where possible. Chipboard can be particularly bad for this, so best avoided where possible.