We spend over 90% of our time indoors, so indoor air quality has a big impact on our lifetime exposure to pollutants. 

Air pollution in the home can be particularly difficult to protect ourselves against as it can come from many sources and is hard to see.

Sources of air pollution in the home include:

  1. Heating and cooking 
  2. Mould in the home
  3. Burning items such as solid fuel in stoves, open fires and candles
  4. High VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in building products (eg paints and varnishes, chipboard furniture, carpets and sofas)
  5. Fumes from everyday cleaning and personal care products

Here are some of the things you can do to reduce and avoid air pollution:

1 Open your window when cooking or using cleaning products

Good ventilation is the key to avoiding air pollution in the home. It will also help avoid the build up of air polluting moulds too. 

Regularly service your boiler

Carbon Monoxide from faulty boilers and heaters can be fatal so make sure you get your boiler serviced regularly.

3 Think about how you do your cleaning

Keep dust levels low, use fragrance-free or naturally-scented products, switch to mild cleaning products and avoid aerosols.

4 Burn smokeless fuels or dry, well-seasoned wood on your barbecue or stove

This is particularly important as pollution from burning fuels damages the air for those who live nearby as well as within your own home.

5 Consume less energy = produce less pollution

Gas and electricity are big contributors to air pollution. Gas creates fumes when we burn it to heat our homes, and electricity produced by power stations burning fossil fuels has the same result. There are lots of things you can do to conserve energy (and lower your bills), such as switching off the lights, filling the kettle with just what you need and only running the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.

6 Switch energy suppliers

Choose renewable energy tariffs for your home supply to reduce the pollution produced by power stations.

7 Recycle your compostables

Rather than burning your garden waste, compost it and turn it into food for your vegetable patch.

8 Save the wood-burning stove for the bleak winter

Wood-burning stoves look great and they’re so cosy. But burning wood produces a lot of air pollutants. To minimise your contribution to air pollution buy a Defra-approved stove, use authorised fuel, and only light it when you really really have to. 

9 Get a pollution-busting diet

Eating a healthy diet reduces the risk of developing health problems that can be made worse by air pollution.

What are your plans for Clean Air Day? Why not walk or cycle to work or school - and if you already do this, organise an event? For more information on how to do this in your community, at work or in school, download one of our free toolkits.