Why Most Air Fresheners Aren’t a Good Idea for Your Home

August 27, 2015

Don’t be ashamed. Just about every home has its share of bad odors. And, if you’re like most homeowners, you probably reach for an air freshener when those smells rear their heads. Or perhaps you simply leave a plug-in air freshener in your home at all times.

Well, it turns out that might not be a good idea. Here’s why.

Using air fresheners is like fighting fire with fire

We’ve talked previously about how polluted your home is. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it’s 2-5 times more polluted than the worst outdoor air.

Most smells are a result of that indoor air pollution (mold and mildew are popular suspects). But here’s the thing – air fresheners are only making the situation worse. Rather than removing the source of the smells, they’re just masking them with stronger-smelling air pollution.
 
You’re fighting indoor air pollution with indoor air pollution.

There are some scary things in air fresheners

In 2007, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted a study of more than a dozen of the leading air fresheners on the market and found that many contained dangerous levels of phthalates. 
 
Phthalates are known for their hormone-disrupting traits and are especially dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Other studies have also found other toxic and unhealthy chemicals in air fresheners.
 
Even though these chemicals are most harmful with long-term exposure, these studies highlight the fact that you don’t know what’s in these products because manufacturers aren’t required to test them.

There are simple alternatives to air fresheners

There are simple remedies for most indoor odors. First, remove the source of the smell. (That means take out the garbage and clean more often.) 

Second, open up a window. Outdoor air is almost always cleaner than indoor air (even in the heart of a city like Kansas City). So while the weather is nice, open up your windows and air out your home.
 
Last, if you need more indoor air quality help, use methods that actually remove pollutants from the air. NASA has found that there are house plants that actually clean your air. And, of course, there’s always whole-home air cleaners.
 
Want more help ridding your Kansas City-area home of bad smells? Contact Santa Fe Air online today or call us at 913-856-5801.