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Winter means spending more time indoors. Good for snuggling. Not so good for breathing in clean air. Inside air has two to five times more toxins than outside air. But what exactly is making the air inside our homes so toxic? 

Dust, mold and volatile organic compounds that off-gas from furniture and finishes all contribute to reduced air quality, leading to symptoms like itchy eyes, runny noses, headaches and fatigue. Here are three ways to clean your home’s air – naturally.

Buy low or no VOC products. From couches to carpets to paint, you can find a huge range of items and materials with little to no off-gassing. Other chemicals of concern? Flame retardants, PVCs, PFVs and antimicrobial agents like triclosan.

Open windows (when possible) and vacuum and dust often. Simple fixes for low indoor air quality are to open windows and use some elbow grease. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and microfiber cloths to really pick up any toxin-laden dust.

Get rid of anything that smells like a chemical. There are so many options for natural cleaning supplies these days, including simple, homemade cleaners with common household items like baking soda. Also, look through your cabinets and replace noxious personal care products like nail polish remover and hairspray with natural versions.