cozy show of an opened window and pilows close to it
Photo: Alisa Anton

The year-round warm and humid climate is great when you’re lounging on the beach and enjoying water activities. However, it’s far from an ideal environment when you’re in the comfort of your home. The high temperatures and moisture levels in the air can make it challenging to keep one’s space cool and the air clean. Aside from the discomfort of staying in a hot space, poor indoor air quality can lead to respiratory problems and allergies.

Thankfully, all these can be addressed with some simple adjustments and practices. From installing certain appliances to using natural air purifiers, here are some tips to enjoy a healthy and comfortable space.

  • #1. Install Proper Ventilation in Key Areas

There are plenty of things that can affect the air quality at home. For example, the usual task of cooking can release smoke, odors, and other particles that can make the air feel heavier and uncomfortable. If you want to maintain cool and clean air at home during and after you cook, install a range hood in your kitchen. The appliance can help remove cooking odors and pollutants by capturing smoke and fumes at their source and venting them outdoors. It also keeps your kitchen cool while you cook.

  • #2. Allow Air to Circulate

It’s important to circulate fresh air throughout your home to prevent indoor air from becoming stale and stuffy. You can do this by keeping the windows and openings on opposite sides of your house open. This allows the breeze to flow through, replacing warm air with cooler, moving air. If your home doesn’t feature such a layout, you can improve air circulation by using electric fans. Make sure to place them strategically to create better airflow. As a bonus, electric fans help evaporate the sweat on your skin and maintain a comfortable indoor climate.

  • #3. Manage Humidity Indoors

High humidity levels can make your home feel uncomfortable and contribute to poor indoor air quality. This can occur anytime, but especially during the rainy season because that’s when humidity tends to spike. If you want to manage humidity levels at home, consider using a dehumidifier. It helps remove excess moisture from the air, making your home feel cooler. It also prevents the growth of mold and the proliferation of dust mites.

collage with hands in yellow glows cleaning around the house

  • #4. Regularly Clean Your Home

Frequent cleaning can help maintain a clean space and improve indoor air quality. Make it a habit to vacuum and mop your floors regularly to remove dust, pollen, and other allergens. Particularly, pay attention to carpets, rugs, and other floor coverings because these are where dust, allergens, and pollutants tend to build up. It’s best if you can use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter as it can capture smaller particles and allergens that standard vacuums may miss.

When it comes to hard floors like tiles or hardwood, mop them with a damp cloth or sweep regularly to remove dirt. Additionally, remember to clean other surfaces and curtains, upholstery, and bedding to reduce allergens.

  • #5. Get Indoor Plants

Having indoor plants not only adds a touch of greenery and beauty to your home but can also significantly improve air quality. That’s because many houseplants can act as natural air purifiers. They effectively absorb indoor pollutants and release a fresh supply of oxygen.

Some air-purifying plants also help remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air. These include snake plants, pothos, peace lilies, or aloe vera. When incorporating these plants into your decor, be sure to place them in well-lit areas. Also, be sure to take note of how to properly care for them to keep them healthy and effective.

  • #6. Limit the Use of Artificially Scented Items

While fragrances can add a touch of luxury to your living space, using synthetic air fresheners and lighting scented candles introduces chemicals and allergens into the air that can negatively impact indoor air quality. Many commercial air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds, which can contribute to indoor air pollution. Similarly, scented candles release soot and other particles. They might even trigger respiratory issues in some individuals.

If you want to improve the smell in your home, opt for natural scents instead. Consider essential oils or fresh flowers for a more organic and less harmful way to freshen the air in your home. Just remember to take any allergies into consideration. In the case of candles, it’s best to light them in well-ventilated rooms. You can also get soy-based or beeswax candles, which produce fewer pollutants.

  • #7. Properly Maintain Air Conditioners

Many households in the Philippines use air conditioners to stay cool. However, an aircon’s efficiency relies on its proper maintenance. If you keep using an air conditioner with a clogged filter, it can have a hard time cooling a space and the indoor air quality will also be affected. With this in mind, regularly clean or replace your aircon’s air filter. Check the user manual to see how often you should do this and how you can access the filter.

Let's finalize...

Maintaining cool, clean air at home does more than keep you comfortable amidst the Philippines’s tropical climate. With this in mind, consider these simple but effective recommendations to help you create a pleasant and healthy living environment.

Lots of love,