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Welcome to our Healthy Homes & Workplaces 10-part series. In these stories, we delve deep into the science and engineering behind our machines to reveal our Dyson top tips, tricks and recommendations for keeping your home and workplace clean and healthy though lockdowns and beyond. Find out more on Instagram through #DysonHealthyHome.  

Dyson purifier in house

Get Cosy with Caution

With people spending even more time indoors as they prepare for a lockdown winter, our Dyson specialists share their top tips on how to keep a healthy home over the long, cold winter.

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The winter months can be dark, cold, dry, and more polluted than expected. The clocks have gone back in many parts of the world, with the days now shorter and darker. People light candles for ambience. The air indoors can be cold and dry, so windows remain shut, while the heating is cranked up and fires are lit.  

 

Research shows individuals usually spend an average of 90 per cent of their time indoors, which typically increases even further as the weather turns colder. Couple that with many countries returning to lockdown and it's easy to see how our homes become our havens. During the winter, people make their homes warmer, comfier and cosier - channelling the principles of the Danish concept of Hygge. But how do winter habits impact our wellbeing?

Breathe easy

Approximately one in ten British people use wood burning stoves in the home. Combustion events with an open flame, like open fires or burning candles, can release many different pollutants. Smoke itself is formed of unburned carbon particles which are released into the air as the hydrocarbon chain of candle wax breaks down. Candles and other scented products, like reed diffusers, can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air – a form of gas pollution.

“In the colder weather, our windows and doors are usually tightly closed, meaning ventilation of the air is limited,” says Senior Design Engineer, Sam Railton. “By spending more time indoors, particularly during winter or lockdown, we may be increasing the level of indoor pollutants from our day-to-day activities – from cooking and cleaning to using personal care products like deodorant.”

 

Rather than sacrifice these winter staples, an air purifier with HEPA filtration can minimise the impact of indoor air pollution. Look for a machine with fully sealed filters to capture gases and 99.95 per cent of particle pollution, such as the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool purifying fan heater. If dry air is a concern, consider using a combined purifier humidifier. With a double auto mode, the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool purifying humidifying fan will automatically improve air quality and humidity levels.

Learn more

Dyson air treatment

 

 

Shed light on the matter

relaxing with the Dyson lightcycle morph

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Now the clocks have gone back, natural light levels are lower, for longer. This can trigger a negative change in mood, with medical bodies citing shorter daylight hours as a potential cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

 

“To battle these low light levels, we are often tempted to light a fire or candles to maintain ambience and to add a gentle, warming light into the home.” says Dr Karen Dawe, Dyson Research Lead in Neuroscience. “But having the right light for the right time of day and for the right task is crucial for supporting eye health.”

 

The constant flickering of candles and open fires can strain eyes if used to light specific tasks. For studying or working, with many more people in local lockdowns, brighter, bluer light is important to help with focus and concentration.

When it comes to creating ambience, warmer light helps to signal to the brain that it is time to relax. Daylight tracking technology within the Dyson Lightcycle Morph light supports the body clock by providing the right light for the right time of day, as well as being flexible – from task lighting for a specific workspace, to ambient mode, mimicking candlelight without the straining flicker.

Don’t wait for the dust to settle

Dust mites thrive in dark, warm, and humid places where skin cell debris is high, like sofas and beds – those spaces most associated with getting comfortable! Using central heating and spending more time indoors means that microscopic dust can be disturbed, becoming airborne, and even contributing to the particle pollution levels in the home. Regularly vacuuming soft furnishings can help reduce the allergens at home, using the highly efficient filtration of the Dyson V11 cord-free vacuum cleaner, with twice the suction power of any other cordless vacuum cleaner. 

 

 “Wherever you spend the most time and shed the most skin, that’s where you’re most likely to find dust mites,” says Gem McLuckie, Lead Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson. “I’d recommend cleaning them every six months: once when you’re Spring Cleaning and once at the end of dust mite season in October. That way you can reduce the number of skin flakes present in your mattress before dust mite season begins and remove any excess allergenic material once they’ve finished breeding; supporting your wellbeing through the winter months.”

 

 

Dust mite.

We spend roughly a third of our lives in our beds, but studies show that hardly any of us regularly prioritise our mattresses as part of our cleaning regimens. Dyson engineers share top tips on how to keep your mattress clean – and tackle the microscopic life lurking beneath the sheets.

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The Dyson air quality backpack.

With autumn already here and the clocks going back at 02:00 on Sunday 25th October, the change in daylight hours can affect our sleep patterns. We often look forward to an extra hour of sleep but evidence suggests we do not actually benefit from it.

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