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Indoor Air Quality: Paints, Products & Plants

Indoor Air Quality: Paints, Products & Plants

Posted by Celtic Sustainables on 13th Aug 2019

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality is something that affects us all. People in the UK spend on average over 90% of their time indoors (according to a survey by Ribble Cyclists from 2017). In June this year, the National Insitutue for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produced new draft guidance to urge local authorities and the public to be aware of the air quality in their homes and to reduce their exposure to indoor pollutants.

Alan Maryon-Davis, honorary professor of public health, Kings College London and Chair of the NICE Public Health Advisory Committee said:

"We are all very aware of the detrimental health effects of outdoor air pollution. But how many of us think about the air quality inside our homes? Many people spend most of their time at home indoors, and the pollutants we create through cooking and cleaning, or those arising from mould or building materials, can all too easily cause or exacerbate respiratory conditions and other health problems."

There are many different types of indoor air pollutants, but the good news is that there are also many solutions available to help reduce their impact on your health. Over the years we have increased our range of indoor air quality products. Here are some that might help you.

Please do skip to the section that is relevant to you, or share with a friend if you think it might be helpful.

If you have Patches of Black Mould on your Walls or Ceilings

Mould on ceiling over bathroom shower

Anti-Mould Paint

Auro Anti-Mould Wall and Ceiling Paint

If there is too much moisture in your home it can cause black mould on your walls, ceilings and even furniture. If mould starts to grow it can affect the health of the people using the rooms.

The first thing to do, is to find the source of the problem and do what you can to reduce the amount of damp in your rooms. The solution, in part, could be as easy as opening the window when you are cooking or drying clothes. Sometimes the answer is more complex like fixing faulty plumbing or leaky guttering. 

Once those black mould spores are growing in your paintwork it is tricky to stop them from coming back. Auro have a solution in the form of an Anti-Mould Paint. It comes in white as standard and so is great for ceilings in bathrooms and kitchens. What's more it really works. Many of us here in the office have used it in our homes and have been really impressed with it. The first person here to use it was Glyn (our MD). He used it on his bathroom ceiling about 18 months ago and it is still clear of black mould spores.

Summer is a great time to paint ceilings and walls in damp houses as your home is at it's driest therefore making it so much easier to paint!

Find out more about the Auro Anti-Mould Paint


Ebac Dehumidifier

If the source of your mould is a build up of condensation in the room and you don't like to open the windows, or if you need a temporary fix to reduce the dampness while you contemplate building work, then investing in a dehumidifier could be the answer for you. 

The Ebac Dehumidifers we offer with their "smart control" software are about half the running cost of a typical dehumidifier. Saving energy compared to most others. They can remove up to 18 or 21 litres of water a day from a room (depending on the model you choose) and are really easy to use. 

Anthony here purchased an 18 litre dehumidifier for his new home when he moved in last autumn (while he worked out why some rooms were damper than others). He was simply amazed at the amount of water extracted from the air. He used it a lot during the winter months, mainly on "quiet mode". The whole team would get daily updates on the volume of water collected! He says:

"The rooms just feel a lot nicer and warmer to be in. I was amazed at the difference even having it on for just a few hours a day made".

Find out more about Dehumidifiers

If you Live in an Area with High Outdoor Air Pollution

Air Cleaning Paints

Paint technology is changing. There is a new generation of photocatalytic paints on the market now. These paints work with sunlight (or daylight bulbs) to neutralise pollutants and odours in the air. What's more the "air cleaning" effect doesn't reduce over time.

We offer a range of indoor photocatalytic paints including:

All are water based, produced from natural ingredients and have a high alkaline mineral content.

If you live on a busy street or share your home with smokers, we recommend investigating these paints. They improve indoor air quality. Even if you just paint your ceiling with them (and switch over to daylight/natural light bulbs) they will make a difference to the air you breathe.

Air Purifiers

Winix Zero Air Cleaner

Air purifying machines are a great solution to indoor air quality issues for people who like to see the results (they have air quality indicator lights and filters in them that need changing).

After a great deal of research into this technology we decided to sell the Winix Zero Air Purifier. This air purifier cleans air without using chemicals with 3 filters of various sizes and plasmawave technology (a safe, short electrical discharge) which disperses pollutants on a molecular level too.

This air cleaner is very economical to run with a maximum power consumption (when on "turbo" mode) of 40W. Both the pre-filter and the Carbon filters are washable. The True HEPA filter needs to be changed up to every 12 months or so depending on environment.

Find out more abou the Winix Zero Air Purifier.

If you Suffer with Hay Fever or Asthma

Winix Zero Air Cleaner

It is possible to remove fine dust, pet dander, pollen, smoke, mould spores, VOCs, traffic fumes and household odours from indoor air. The solution comes in the form of Air Purifiers (sometimes called air cleaners).

We started selling air cleaning technology because many local customers, who love our virtually zero VOC paint, also needed a simple solution to ease their hay fever at night. Even if they kept their windows closed during hay fever season. The pollen that triggers it was still getting into their rural homes.

The Winix Plasmawave Air Purifier range is approved by Allergy UK so along with it's low energy it was an obvious choice.

Winix customers have found that when they put the Winix Zero Air Purifier on in the evening for an hour (it changes the air in the bedroom around 5 times during that time) it is enough to ensure a better night's sleep.

Find out more about the Air Purifiers.

If you have Space for Indoor Plants: Air Cleaning Plants

It's an interesting area of research that was first investigated by NASA in 1989 when looking for ways to clean the air in space stations. They found that some common indoor plants can also remove toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air.

The research is increasingly more relevant as recent studies have shown that fragrances like lemon and pine scents, that many of us like in our household laundry, candles and cleaning agents, breaks down in the air in your home to make formaldehyde. Really not good news!

We wrote about it on our blog years ago along with the top four easy to grow indoor plants. Catch up here.
Read our full Blog Post: Scented Candles, Formaldehyde, Paint and Plants.

If you are Renovating or Building or Seriously want to Know More about Indoor Air Quality

Tom Woolley Indoor Air Quality Book

Tom Woolley is a class act when it comes to understanding about building materials and indoor air quality. 

We recommend this book to anyone who seriously wants to improve their indoor environment. In our opinion every self-builder and architect should definitely have a copy!

Building Materials, Health and Indoor Air Quality is 214 pages and published by Routledge. It is £34.99 inc VAT.