The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can also bring hidden indoor air quality (IAQ) hazards into our homes. From decorations to cooking, several holiday activities can negatively impact the air we breathe. In this blog, our Elite experts will explore some of the IAQ hazards associated with the holidays and provide you with practical tips to identify and mitigate these risks for a healthier and happier season.
Look Out for These Common IAQ Concerns Around the Holidays:
Festive Decorations: Holiday decorations often spend the year in storage, collecting dust and potential allergens. Artificial trees, wreaths, and ornaments can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when unpacked.
Cooking and Baking: Preparing big holiday meals can lead to increased cooking-related pollutants, such as grease and smoke. Carbon monoxide (CO) can be produced when using gas ovens or stovetops extensively.
Indoor Plants and Greenery: Houseplants and fresh greenery can harbor mold, especially when overwatered. Mold spores can become airborne and affect IAQ if not addressed.
Mitigating IAQ Hazards During the Holidays:
Decorate Mindfully: Before decorating, clean holiday items to remove dust and allergens. Consider investing in live, potted holiday greenery, like Christmas trees, to reduce VOC emissions.
Proper Ventilation: Use exhaust fans while cooking and keep windows cracked to reduce cooking-related pollutants. Ensure gas appliances are well-maintained and vented properly to prevent CO buildup.
Manage Indoor Plants: Carefully monitor the moisture levels of indoor plants to prevent mold growth. Regularly inspect plants for signs of mold or mildew, and remove affected areas promptly.
Regular Cleaning: Maintain a consistent cleaning routine during the holiday season to control dust and allergens. Vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture small particles, and wash bedding and curtains regularly.
IAQ Products: Consider using IAQ products such as air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers to maintain optimal air quality. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can help remove airborne particles.
The holidays are a time for joy and togetherness, and by taking a few simple steps to mitigate IAQ hazards, you can ensure that your home remains a safe and healthy haven for you and your loved ones. Our team at Elite is here to help with even more solutions that can help you breathe easier year-round. By staying vigilant and addressing these potential risks, you can enjoy a happy and worry-free holiday season.