Your Homemade Air Freshener Could Be Toxic

DIY natural home deodorizers and air fresheners may promise to improve indoor air quality and cover up lingering odors, but there's little evidence they're doing much good. Studies show that all air fresheners, including those made from natural ingredients, contain potentially harmful chemicals.

The Facts on Air Fresheners

Research shows the use of air fresheners is closely associated with high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These toxic compounds negatively impact indoor air quality and compromise human health. Exposure to VOCs like formaldehyde, benzene and others causes eye, nose, and throat irritation. Over time, elevated VOC levels cause nausea and headaches and exacerbate underlying health conditions like asthma.

Are Natural Air Fresheners Any Safer?

Even homemade air fresheners can contain ingredients that contain VOCs or react with naturally occurring elements in your home to produce indoor pollutants. For example, certain chemicals in essential oils and other fragrance compounds can create formaldehyde once combined with ozone.

Even when homeowners know how to make air fresheners without contaminating the fragrances, the ingredients aren't always reliable. Be wary of ingredients or store-bought products making safety claims; "environmentally safe air fresheners" and "natural air fresheners safe for pets" likely contain the same chemicals as other options with minor reformulations.

Use Your HVAC System to Reduce Odors

Most air fresheners and deodorizers don't actually eliminate bad smells, and the science behind natural deodorizes for home or office use is sketchy at best. There are safer, more effective alternatives to homemade odor eliminators, including putting your HVAC system to work!

Instead of covering up bad odors, use your HVAC system to ventilate, filtrate and eliminate! Here are five ways to make it happen.

  1. Remove the odor. Obvious, but overlooked. Especially for persistent pet smells, removing or cleaning the source of the odor is often the best course of action. Toss old dog and cat beds and blankets, and opt for washable options whenever possible.
  2. Increase ventilation. Open windows whenever possible and use bathroom and ceiling fans to keep air circulating through your home.
  3. Use your HVAC system. A well-maintained HVAC system improves indoor air quality by efficiently circulating air and filtering airborne irritants.
  4. Invest in a dedicated air purification system. Your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning technician will recommend solutions to reduce organic odors and airborne irritants. Advanced air cleaning systems remove smaller allergens and odor-caused bacteria than most commercial filters.
  5. Clean regularly. Regular cleaning reduces dust, bacteria growth, and other common odor sources. It also increases the odds of spotting causes of odors before a bad smell sinks into nearby fabrics. Cleaning upholstery is more difficult than wood, metal or composite furniture, so invest a little time more often to remove smells than waiting for an overwhelming stink.

Clear the Air with Your Local Indoor Air Quality Experts

Homemade air fresheners and natural deodorizers are more hype (and harm) than help. Instead of covering up smells, remove odors with your home's HVAC system and a little common sense. You can always count on the friendly, professional technicians at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to offer expert tips

For expert air purification insight, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning is ready to help. Find a location near you or call (888) 760-2838 today to get started!