We often assume that air pollution is something we encounter outdoors, however thanks to improved insulation and the increased use of cleaning products, research shows that the air inside our homes can actually be more polluted than the air outside it.

This can be hard to believe given air pollution is often invisible to the naked eye, but it is around us. Watch our vlog below where we take a journey through Michael Pinsky's 'Pollution Pods' at Somerset House to see, feel and smell air pollution from 5 big cities across the world, including: Tautra in Norway, London, New Delhi, Beijing and São Paulo.

 



Whilst this might seem a bit scary, the good news is that we can actually do a lot about our homes, so here are 7 ways to improve the quality of the air in your home:

1) Clean your floor

Vacuum or mop floors regularly to get rid of dust, pollen and pet hair which can get in the atmosphere. Wood or tiled floors are easier to keep clean than carpets, something to consider when decorating.

2) Go natural when cleaning

Cleaning products and air freshers can be full of synthetic fragrances. Choose fragrance-free products or experiment with natural alternatives such as lemon and baking soda. Check out these homemade cleaners from Good Housekeeping for inspiration.

3) Buy a NASA approved plant

When researching ways to clean air in space stations NASA discovered that certain plants could absorb bad guys like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene (boo, hiss!) from the environment. Plants like the Peace Lilly or Snake Plant come out top, but read this infographic to see which ones will work best for your space.

4) Throw those curtains wide

It's an obvious one but don't forget to crack open your windows to let fresh air in and ventilate your room (bonus points for singing like a Dinsey Princess). If you live by a busy road then it's best to avoid leaving the windows open at rush hour.

5) Check the gas

Get regular checks on your boiler and cooker, to make sure that they aren't leaking gas. Make sure you have a Carbon Monoxide alarm in the house to monitor CO levels. When cooking, open a window or pop an extractor fan on to reduce the amount of gases you might breathe in.

6) Choose your candles wisely

Lighting a candle instantly creates an 'atmosphere', but may actually be polluting the atmosphere with soot and artificial fragrances. To improve air quality burn candles less, choose non-scented candles or increase ventilation in the room.

7) Get a doormat

Trap dust and dirt from outside before it gets in the home with a cheerful doormat. Shoes drag dirt and pollutants around the house, so swap for slippers to improve air quality.