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6 Top Sneaky Culprits In Your Home Which Cause Poor Air Quality That You Need To Get Rid Of ASAP

Tips for better indoor air quality

We’re quick to assume that as long as we live a reasonable distance from industrial areas and main roads or expressways, we’re spared from fumes and air pollution until the next season of haze hits. But in reality, there are many inconspicuous things around your home that might be dragging your air quality down and causing your allergies to flare up.

From scented shampoos to household cleaning supplies, here’s a list of items most people have in their homes that are emitting fumes and toxins:

1. Paint fumes

paint fumes
Image credit: Unsplash

If you’ve ever walked into a room with freshly painted walls, you’ll have smelt that unmistakable chemical smell that accompanies most commercial brands of paint. These fumes come from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – carcinogens like methylene chloride and benzene – present in paint, and are known to cause health problems such as cancer.

And even though the smell does fade with time, the paint will continue to release these toxins into the air over a prolonged period giving rise to side effects such as nausea, headaches, lung irritation and even vision problems.

2. Essential oil diffusers and air fresheners

essential oil diffusers
Image credit: @cosmelinacom

Returning to a home that smells nice is definitely a welcoming feeling. In order to achieve this, many pepper air fresheners and oil diffusers around their home. While these can help freshen up the smell of your home, some diffusers and fresheners contain harmful chemicals like phthalates and formaldehyde.

These chemicals are known to interfere with hormone production, and cause birth defects in the long run. Overuse of such air fresheners can be more harmful than useful, but 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils over aromatherapy oils are a safer alternative. 

FYI: A home that smells nice doesn’t mean that air quality is necessarily good. Instead, invest in an air purifier instead of air freshener to ensure what you’re breathing in is free from pollutants.

trusens air purifier

Look out for models like the Trusens air purifier that don’t just cleanse irritants like dust, but also target odours and particles smaller than hair to alleviate allergies.

3. Mould in carpets

Image credit: AliExpress

Other than chemical pollutants, other pesky culprits that lower air quality include mould and pet hair. For those of us who own carpets at home, you might need to clean it thoroughly as often as possible as they have a higher likelihood of trapping moisture which is known to attract mould.

Mould is also known to grow in hidden places like the underside of the carpet or the padding, so you might not see it until it’s too late. This means that if your carpet isn’t regularly cleaned and maintained, you might be harbouring some dangerous bacteria that can lead to respiratory problems and allergies – especially in children.

Pro tip: Besides carpets, another culprit are fabric sofas and throw pillows that attract dust mites and pet dander – like when your cat decides to perch on them for hours

4. Household cleaning supplies 

cleaning supplies
Image credit: @clutterfreebycarrie

It’s a little ironic, but our household cleaning supplies can actually be the cause of poor air quality. While our cleaning supplies do effectively remove other grime and filth around the house, some supplies contain chemicals and VOCs that lead to respiratory problems.

While bleach-based cleaners are obviously harmful, spray-nozzle ones such as glass cleaners and furniture sprays can release chemicals that linger in the air, increasing the likelihood of inhalation. We hate to fuel your hate for chores, but it’s been scientifically proven that daily exposure to cleaning chemicals puts you more at risk of contracting cancer.

Be cautious with the products you use to clean; an air purifier can help to reduce the air pollutants released by harmful products.

5. Newly-installed flooring

Image credit: @xingfloors

Newly renovated homes usually have that new house smell that lingers. While that’s an indication that you might have finally achieved your dream space, this smell might also mean that harmful contaminants and fumes from your reno materials are lingering.

Particularly in newly installed flooring, the glue used can continue to release harmful chemicals that can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

6. Printers or other office equipment


Surprisingly enough, printers and their toner cartridges are the culprits behind this not-so-pretty picture as they emit all sorts of toxic fumes such as nitrogen dioxide and even micro-particles that can penetrate the lungs. Toner dust is also a pesky by-product of printing that can linger in the air and trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions.

Preserve your air quality with TruSens Air Purifiers

From paint to printer fumes, it’s hard to completely avoid all things that emit any kind of harmful gases. If you can’t eliminate all the culprits in your home, the next best thing is to invest in an air purifier to improve your quality of air at home. 

Consider TruSens Air Purifiers, which are well-rounded options that use 360-degree HEPA filters with four levels of filtration to effectively remove particulate matter as small as 0.3 microns including dust, pet hair, VOCs and even viruses in the air. An in-built UV-C light then kills the air pollutants trapped in the filter.

Unlike most purifiers in the market that only blows filtered air in one direction, TruSens Air Purifiers are designed to distribute air in two directions (PureDirect™ Dual Airflow Technology) to ensure that clean air reaches every last nook and cranny of your home. 

trusens air purifier
This technology splits clean air into two streams for wider coverage – up to 24% more effectively!

It’s hard to gauge air quality by sight and smell alone, and that’s why the TruSens Air Purifiers also come with a standalone air quality sensor called the SensorPod to give you real time feedback about air quality in your home. 

Think of the SensorPod as your purifier’s BFF – it tells the latter the level of pollutants, and the purifier will adjust its fan speed to improve clean air coverage.

How to use it? Just place the SensorPod where you need it most, be it on your study table, near your baby’s crib or right beside the night stand. That means you can keep a tab on air quality even outside your line of vision.

The SensorPod also ensures that your purifier doesn’t have to work harder than necessary to filter the air around it, making it energy efficient and longer lasting than other options out there. 

There’s also an aesthetically pleasing LED display on the top of the purifier that lets you know the current air quality with three colours to signify good, moderate and poor. 

The LED Display turns different colours according to the air quality level. Ours was blue at a “good” score of 05 – thank goodness!

Trusens air purifiers have garnered design awards like the Red Dot Award and SuperMom Award, which should reassure you that you’re investing in a quality product. It also comes in three different sizes suitable for large rooms (750 sq ft), medium rooms (375 sq ft) and small rooms (250 sq ft). 

TruSens also offers targeted purification, which includes a Specialty Allergy & Flu Filter that captures 99% of airborne allergens and viruses, a Specialty Pet Filter that captures up to 99.97% of pet dander and hair, and a Specialty Odours and VOCs Filter engineered with an increased amount of activated carbon pellets to remove unwanted odours and VOCs.

Get them easily on Lazada and Shopee.

For families with young children or people with severe allergies, air purifiers can help you breathe much easier and improve the quality of air. And with TruSens Air Purifiers, you’ll be able to sidestep the nasties lingering in the air without completely changing your home habits. 

Find out more about TruSens Air Purifiers here


This post was brought to you by ACCO Brands.
Cover image adapted from (L-R): @clutterfreebycarrie, @xingfloors