Natural Air Purifiers To Clean the Air in Your Home

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Written By Jamila W.
virus, bacteria

Disinfecting your home of viruses usually begins with using detergent or soap. Since viruses are airborne, can you treat them at the source with air purifiers?

Natural air purifiers like HEPA filters can kill viruses. Houseplants, activated charcoal, essential oils, and beeswax candles can also remove contaminants in the air for a happier, healthier, more fragrant home.

Your family’s health is a top priority, so we’ve dug through lots of studies and data to help you decide which solutions are optimal for your household.

Can a Natural Air Purifier Kill Viruses?

Blue single use medical face masks

Viral illnesses are no picnic. They range from common sicknesses like the cold to more serious maladies like norovirus, COVID-19, and the flu.

You and your family do your part to keep viruses out of the household, but you wonder if you could do more, like add a natural air purifier or several. The EPA states that “air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a home or confined space.”

Be aware that not all air purifiers are created equally. High-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filters are the most effective at removing viruses in the air.

These mechanical filters feature matted fiber pleats densely packed and randomly arranged to capture particles of all sizes. The filter can catch everything from tobacco smoke to dust mites, pet dander, toxic chemicals, and pollen.

man coughing

That makes HEPA filters an optimal household solution for those with allergies and/or asthma. These filters are also recommended for families with newborns and those with pets.

You might also consider an activated charcoal filter for at-home use. These filters feature an activated charcoal bed that can capture volatile organic compounds. Air odors from perfume to tobacco smoke are also minimized.

Other Air Purification Methods to Try

While installing a few HEPA filters around the home is a great start to purify air, it’s far from your only option. Let’s explore a few more solutions so you and your family can breathe easier.

Essential Oils

brown glass bottle on brown textile

Who doesn’t love reaching for essential oils for an aromatic treat after a long day? Besides infusing your home with earthy aromas, essential oils can also improve air quality.

Orange, grapefruit, lemon, and other citrus oils contain limonene, an antimicrobial chemical that kills airborne viruses on the spot.

If you’re not into fruity aromas, try conifer essential oils. Spruce, fir, and pine oils are rich in a chemical compound called pinene that can halt bacteria in the air. Pinene is also good for the respiratory system, another of its health benefits.

Eucalyptus is excellent at clearing indoor air and your airways. Whether you’re suffering from seasonal allergies or a lingering illness, using eucalyptus essential oils will open you up.  

Tea tree might be a polarizing scent, but it’s effective at killing flu-causing viruses in the air. It’s also an antibacterial and antifungal that can prevent mold development.

You can use essential oils traditionally through a humidifier or diffuser or even insert them into compatible air filters.

Beeswax Candles

Beeswax Candles

Another way to partake in an evening of aromatherapy is through candles. They sooth our senses and add a relaxing ambiance. Who would have thought that candles can also reduce indoor air pollution and viruses?  

Beeswax candles are incredibly adept at this, and the reason has to do with the unique composition of the candle.

Beeswax contains negative ions that clean indoor air. Besides reducing instances of viruses, these candles can also remove dust mite feces, mold, pollen, toxic chemicals, odors, and dust.

If you need yet another reason to light a beeswax candle, here it is. Beeswax is non-carcinogenic, non-allergenic, and non-toxic since it’s free of petroleum-based wax like what’s used in paraffin candles.

Indoor Plants

Indoor Plants

According to a 2021 publication of Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, “indoor plants enhance air quality, remove pollutants, and reduce bacterial and fungal infection spread,” and their usage “could be considered an alternative solution that can be used to reduce the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 and add esthetic value to the surrounding environment.”

So while the verdict on whether plants can outright kill viruses is still out, what’s much clearer is that they can rid the air of nasty particulates that make us sick. They include ammonia, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde.

A 2022 publication in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Healthreported that potted plants could reduce instances of nitrogen dioxide in urban environments.

The air qualification potential of houseplants extends to ridding the environment of  VOCs, as evidenced in NASA’s classic clean air study. Toluene and benzene are the big ones that will disappear with more greenery in the house.

The best plants for the job are rubber plants, Boston ferns, weeping figs, peace lilies, lady palms, aloe vera, bamboo palms, ZZ plants, and spider plants.

green plant on white ceramic pot

A later study from NASA as reported by Drexel University uncovered that the snake plant can make enough oxygen that people could live in a sealed room!

Many of these plants are easy to care for too. For example, the spider plant thrives in indirect light.

More Tips for Cleaner Air

boy in gray sweater standing beside window during daytime

Air purifiers and filters work best as part of an overall clean home plan. Here are some methods to reduce particles in the air:

·      Put plastic covers on pillows and mattresses

·      Use roll-up shades instead of draperies and curtains

·      Replace your bedding often

·      Switch to vinyl, tile, or wood flooring

·      Vacuum the house frequently

·      Change air filters as required

Conclusion

Air pollutants, viruses, and airborne bacteria can make us very sick, but air purifiers can combat the dangerous substances lingering in the air, including harmful chemicals. HEPA and activated charcoal filters work exceptionally well.

Beeswax candles, houseplants, and pure essential oils will also reduce airborne viruses and create a better-smelling home.

Why not begin enjoying better indoor air quality at home with a natural air purifier today?