Want better air quality at home? 7 options to suit every budget

Posted: 7 September 2021 3:30 pm
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Common pollutants can aggravate allergies, breathing issues and skin problems. Here are a few ways to get rid of them.

In partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Award winning, high-performance air conditioners built for tough Aussie climates. Buy an eligible unit before 30 September and claim up to $450 cashback. T&Cs apply.

You might not immediately notice poor air quality in your home, but it can have a whole range of health and environmental impacts that you'll definitely notice sooner or later.

From coughing, watery eyes and skin reactions, to weird smells, excess dust and mould growth, there are many negative side effects of poor air quality within your home.

And poor air quality is easier to come by than you might think. For example, nearby traffic, pets, cleaning products, paint, nail polish, gas cookers and new carpets can all negatively impact the quality of air in your home. Honestly, the list is pretty endless. I was shocked.

Thankfully, there are also plenty of ways to improve air quality. Even better, there are solutions to suit every budget. Take a look.

Bigger budgets

Invest in a new air con

Their main role might be to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, but did you know that many split system air con systems now come with air-purifying features that can make a noticeable difference in your home?

We've seen a big push in recent years from major brands incorporating clean air technology into their products so if you're in the market for a new system, it's worth keeping in mind.

For example, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries incorporates an advanced enzyme filter and multi-stage Allergen Clear operation into its Avanti, Avanti Plus and Bronte split systems. These features work together to capture and break down airborne allergens such as pollen dust and hair, while also neutralising bacteria they may be carrying.

All 3 ranges also come with a photocatalytic deodorizing filter, which helps capture fine smoke particles before neutralizing odour-causing bacteria within.

The interior of a house with a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioning unit on the wall.

Use an air purifier

Naturally, air purifiers also come with a wide range of air purifying qualities. Depending on the brand or model you buy, you can expect it to circulate air, remove allergens and neutralise small particles, odours and gases.

Similarly, some air purifier manufacturers have also started adding heating and cooling features. However, when it comes to climate control, they can't compete with air conditioning units yet and are more akin to portable fans and heaters.

A woman uses a controller for an air purifier.

Add a window exhaust

If you're noticing excess humidity or mould, installing a window exhaust fan can improve ventilation and airflow, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens.

If you're replacing an old one, make sure you find a fan that fits the hole left behind by the old one. If you're adding a new one, you'll probably have to get help from a glazier and make sure the fan is wired by a qualified electrician.

A young child stretches to reach the bathroom light.

Add plants

Okay, so this one is actually a bit of a myth (don't worry, there are still 7 other options all together, so I didn't lie) but I wanted to put it in here to clear things up.

While it's technically true that plants can improve the air quality in your home, you'd need a preposterous amount to feel any real difference. Which would be far more expensive than a brand new air con unit or a top-of-the-range air purifier.

According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, you'd need to squeeze between 10 and 1,000 plants per square metre in a room before their impact was comparable to normal indoor-outdoor airflow.

In other words, you might as well just open a window.

A person waters plants in their home

Smaller budgets

Clean your air con

If you already have an air con system, make sure to maintain it properly and clean it on a regular basis. If you're thinking about buying a new system, look for one that comes with cleaning-friendly features.

For example, the Avanti, Avanti Plus and Bronte series from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries all come with a self-clean operation which dries the indoor unit and filter, preventing the growth of mould.

Living room with a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aircon unit.

Go fragrance-free

Strong cleaning products can contain hazardous chemicals and toxic fumes that negate the air quality in your home. Even beauty products like nail polishes, aerosol deodorants and hairsprays can also contain tiny particles that can impact your health or environment.

A man cleans windows in his home.

Avoid aerosols

Aerosols can be a major air pollutant in our homes and we use more of them than you might realise. From hairsprays and deodorants to air fresheners and bug spray, some of these aerosols contain toxic fumes and harsh chemicals.

Usually, there are alternatives that have less-harmful ingredients, come from natural sources or aren't deodorised so don't contaminate the air to such an extreme degree.

A woman cleans bottles using an aerosol.

Clean rugs and carpets

While vacuuming should remove larger particles in the air, it usually isn't enough to eliminate germs, allergens and other pollutants that can only be targeted by a thorough clean.

Steam cleaning your carpets or even having them professionally cleaned from time to time can remove those smaller particles that may be aggravating allergies and skin conditions.

Steam cleaning a carpet

Compare aircon systems

Best Split System Air Conditioners

Best Rated Split System Air Conditioner Brand: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the clear winner in the split system air conditioning category, with top scores across the board. Consumers said the brand was the best for quietness, performance, features and functions and value for money.

Compare other split system air conditioning units here

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