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Do Air Fresheners Really Work? What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Oct 22, 2022

Every home has a distinct smell.  Odors from pets, food, carpets and more can all impact what a visitor gets a whiff of when you open the door.  To enhance the ‘signature scent’’ of your dwelling, you might want to consider an air freshener. But, do air fresheners really work?

Types of Air Fresheners

Aerosol sprays are the most popular.  Their scent quickly evaporates when released into the air replacing a bad smell with a stronger, cleaner one.  Aerosol sprays are generally considered safe, but can irritate the lungs and increase asthma risk in some people.

Scented candles can ease and soothe the mind, and create a festive mood. Look for non-toxic ones made of soy wax or beeswax.

Essential oils mask unpleasant odors and can lift your mood, reduce anxiety, and improve concentration and memory.  Essential oils are basically plant extracts.

Scented oils are manufactured in labs and non-natural scents can be created. They are less expensive than essential oils, but don’t offer the same health benefits.

Air Purifiers use a fan to take in air, put it through filters that trap pollutants and particles, then send it back out. A HEPA or high efficiency particulate air filter, can trap smaller particles than a standard air purifier.

Plug-in air fresheners continually release a scent into the air until they are empty.   Some contain hazardous chemicals, so look for non-toxic options.

Solid air fresheners trap odors and then release clean-scented air.  Just lift the lid to adjust how much fragrance you want to let out.  Look for a solid air freshener that doesn’t have  phthalates.

Natural DIY Air Fresheners

To remove odors from your home the natural way, eliminate any smells you can by yourself.  Clean or wash anything that stinks, take out the garbage and toss out old food.  There are also a few products with simple, natural ingredients you likely already have on hand that can send smells packing.

White vinegar is an inexpensive option.  Add a tablespoon to a cup of water and put the mixture into a spray bottle.  The odors bind to the vinegar and dissipate.  You can also leave a small bowl of vinegar out to trap smells.

Baking soda can also get rid of the stink.  It bonds to odors and turns them into less smelly salts.  For extra cleaning power, mix a little vinegar in with the baking soda to form a paste. Use it to scrub surfaces.

Carpets are a big contributor to household smells. Same holds true for curtains and upholstered items.  Give everything a good vacuuming.  If you have a deep cleaner or steam cleaner, put it to use.

Household plants can purify the air in your home and remove toxins. Some are safe for pets. Make sure you do your research.

The best way to eliminate household odors is to let outside air in.  Open a window to quickly freshen your home.

The Cons of Air Fresheners

We spend a lot of time indoors when it’s cold outside and we can be exposed to toxins.

Many room air fresheners contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which consist of chemicals linked with adverse health effects. Small quantities of most air fresheners are rarely harmful, but don’t go overboard.

The New Smell of Clean

People enjoy walking into a home with no odors to greet them. Nothing is the best kind of smell and is easily obtained when you take the time to address the odors, not simply ‘mask’ them with air fresheners.

Freshen Indoor Air  

Will Air is a high-quality, residential and light commercial, heating and cooling company in Central Maryland.  We specialize in HVAC systems, duct cleaning, and preventive planned maintenance.  Call us today at 410-549-9300 or go to our website to request a free estimate.

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