Q & A ASK MR MERRIDEW

Homes & Gardens|July 2020

Q & A ASK MR MERRIDEW
OUR RESIDENT UNDER BUTLER PROVIDES HOME HELP
RUTH PALMER

Q I’m concerned about the air quality in my house now that I’m indoors so much. Any tips for improving what I’m breathing in? Julia, Devon

IT’S quite normal to focus on our immediate surroundings when the world at large seems beyond our control, but I would counsel that the air in your home is probably pretty breathable as it is and, as long as you vacuum regularly (that handheld cleaner in my portrait is not just for show, you know), you should be fine. However, there are some tricks that may benefit people who have asthma or poor lung function. NASA (yes, that NASA) released a study a few years ago about which houseplants are best for filtering the air, listing ivy, spider plants and peace lilies as best for absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants while releasing oxygen. More recent innovations have seen smart fabrics come on the market, such as the Gunrid curtain from Ikea. Made from a mineral-based treatment, it breaks down pollutants such as cleaning chemicals and pet odours when activated by light. It’s ideal in a bedroom to ensure a good night’s sleep, though I stress that only those with respiratory problems ought to be worrying about such things. Everyone else should relax and… breathe.

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July 2020