Holiday IAQ Hazards: Identifying and Mitigating Air Quality Risks

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 bakingCooking 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 greeneryIndoor 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 productsIAQ 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.

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Breathe Safe: Strategies to Improve Indoor Air Quality

As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to the effects of poor indoor air quality (IAQ). The good news is that there are numerous strategies to enhance IAQ and create a healthier living environment. In this blog, our Elite experts will explore the importance of clean indoor air and provide practical strategies to help you breathe safely.

Elite Strategies to Improve IAQ

Here are some of the ways poor IAQ can impact the health of older individuals:

Respiratory ProblemsRespiratory Problems: Individuals 55+ are more likely to suffer from respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bronchitis. Poor IAQ can exacerbate these conditions, making it harder to breathe comfortably.

Allergies: Many seniors have allergies, which can be triggered or worsened by indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores.

Cognitive Decline: Studies suggest that poor IAQ can contribute to cognitive decline in older individuals. It may affect memory, attention, and overall mental sharpness.

Heart Health: Those with cardiovascular issues may be more at risk when exposed to indoor air pollutants, as these can strain the heart and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Overall Well-Being: Poor IAQ can lead to discomfort, stress, and reduced quality of life, which can be particularly concerning for seniors who may already face various health challenges.

Strategies to Improve IAQ

  • Strategies to Improve IAQProper Ventilation: Ensure that your home is adequately ventilated. Open windows to allow fresh air in and use exhaust fans to remove indoor pollutants. If outdoor air quality is good, spending time outdoors can also be beneficial.
    • Air Purifiers: Consider investing in a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter. These devices can effectively remove allergens, dust, and pollutants from the air. Our IAQ professionals at Elite can help you select the right air purification system for your home.
      • Regular Cleaning: Keep your home clean and dust-free. Regularly clean and vacuum carpets and upholstery to reduce allergen levels.
        • Humidity Control: Maintain proper indoor humidity levels to prevent mold growth. A dehumidifier or humidifier can help achieve this.
          • Smoke-Free Environment: If you or anyone in your household smokes, quitting or designating smoking areas outside the home can significantly improve IAQ.
            • Non-Toxic Products: Choose non-toxic cleaning products and paints to reduce the release of harmful chemicals into the air.
              • Regular HVAC Maintenance: Have your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system inspected and maintained regularly to ensure it's functioning optimally and not circulating pollutants.
                • Natural Air Fresheners: Opt for natural air fresheners like essential oil diffusers or open bowls of baking soda to keep your home smelling fresh without introducing harsh chemicals.
                  • Allergen Control: If you have pets, make sure to groom them regularly and wash their bedding. Use allergen-resistant covers for pillows and mattresses to reduce allergen exposure.
                    • Air Quality Testing: Consider having your indoor air quality tested by the professionals at Elite to identify specific pollutants and take targeted measures for improvement.

                    For seniors, maintaining good indoor air quality is vital for overall health and well-being. By following these strategies, you can create a safer and more comfortable environment. Clean indoor air not only promotes better health but also ensures that you can enjoy your golden years in a space that's both safe and pleasant to live in.

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                    The Hidden Impact of Indoor Air Quality

                    Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a critical factor that often goes unnoticed in our daily lives. We spend roughly 90% of our time indoors, whether it's at home, in the office, or at school. What many of us fail to realize is that the air we breathe inside these spaces can have a profound impact on our health. Poor IAQ is linked to a range of health issues, from allergies to respiratory problems and even more serious conditions. In this blog, we will explore the five ways IAQ affects health and why it's crucial to pay attention to the air we breathe indoors.

                    Respiratory Health

                    One of the most direct and immediate impacts of poor IAQ is on respiratory health. Indoor pollutants such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory conditions. Moreover, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household products and building materials can irritate the respiratory system and lead to long-term health issues. Maintaining good IAQ through proper ventilation and air filtration is essential for preventing these problems.

                    Allergies and Skin Issues

                    allergies and skin issuesAllergies can be exacerbated or even triggered by poor indoor air quality. Dust mites, mold, and pet allergens are common culprits. When these allergens are present in the air we breathe, individuals with allergies may experience symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itching, and skin rashes. Effective IAQ management can help reduce allergen levels, providing relief for allergy sufferers.

                    Cognitive Function

                    cognitive functionSurprisingly, IAQ can have a significant impact on our cognitive function. Studies have shown that poor IAQ can lead to reduced concentration, impaired decision-making, and decreased productivity. This is especially relevant for office environments, where employees spend long hours indoors. Inadequate ventilation and high levels of indoor air pollutants can lead to a phenomenon known as "sick building syndrome," which affects overall well-being and work performance.

                    Cardiovascular Health

                    cardiovascular healthThe effects of IAQ extend beyond respiratory and cognitive health. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter, can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. Research has linked poor IAQ to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems. Maintaining good IAQ is crucial for reducing this risk and protecting your heart health.

                    Mental Health

                    Mental health is an often overlooked aspect of IAQ. Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality can contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression. Part of this may be attributed to the discomfort and health problems associated with poor IAQ. Additionally, certain indoor pollutants can directly affect the brain and mood. Ensuring clean and fresh indoor air is a key factor in promoting emotional well-being.

                    Indoor Air Quality is a factor that has a profound impact on our health and well-being. From respiratory problems to cognitive function, cardiovascular health, allergies, and even mental health, the quality of the air we breathe indoors can either support or hinder our overall health. Understanding these connections and taking steps to improve IAQ is essential for creating a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment. By allowing our Elite team to address your IAQ concerns through proper ventilation, air filtration, and the use of low-VOC products, we can create spaces that promote our health and overall quality of life.

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                    Your Indoor Air Quality Questions, Answered!

                    With over 30 years of experience, our technicians are experts in indoor air quality. We know what it takes to tackle your indoor air and take great pride in being your home service provider of choice to keep your family safe and healthy. Our experience has allowed us to encounter a manifold of homeowners and their questions. This is why we’ve put together a succinct list of questions we frequently encounter from homeowners looking to breathe clean air, just like you! If you are on the fence about scheduling an Indoor Air Quality Evaluation or unsure of its benefits, continue reading!

                    Can It Prevent Mold and Mildew Growth In My A/C System?


                    When our technicians inspect your A/C system, they will ensure there is no mold, mildew, dust, or any other contaminants that can negatively affect your home’s health. Our technicians will inspect your ductwork to ensure it is free of the same microorganisms. Investing in a combination of UV lights, an air purification system, or antimicrobial ductwork will increase system efficiency while preventing the growth of bacteria.

                    Is It Compatible With My Current A/C System?


                    Many homeowners wonder if they will need to upgrade their system if they choose to upgrade their ductwork. The answer is no! Just because you upgrade one component doesn’t mean you must upgrade the other. However, more often than not, homeowners go through multiple A/C systems before they realize they need to upgrade their ductwork alongside it. Leaky ducts cause a home to lose 20-30% of heated or cooled air, meaning that even the highest efficiency system can only deliver 70-80% of its expected performance. Your system will be even more efficient with updated ductwork. Especially that of antimicrobial capabilities!

                    Will It Save Me Money?


                    An Indoor Air Quality Evaluation will free your system of any dust and debris causing it to overwork. A technician will also check to ensure your ductwork is appropriately sized for your home, if it is dented or damaged, or if it has disintegrated over time. If you choose to upgrade to antimicrobial ductwork, the insulation value will increase, contributing to the efficiency of your system.

                    Why Should I Schedule Today?

                    Proactively scheduling will ensure that your system is working efficiently and your home’s air is as clean as possible. Even 1/20” of dust on your system’s blower wheel can attribute to your allergies. When a technician inspects your system and ductwork, they will be able to see if your ductwork is appropriately sized for your home and what shape it is in.

                    These are just a few of the common questions our team receives in regard to our $49 Indoor Air Quality Evaluation. Give our team a call with any additional questions or to improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality today at (772) 940-5724!

                    5 Signs You May Not Be Sick … It's Just Your Indoor Air Quality

                    5 Adverse Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

                    As the seasons begin to change, it is easy to overlook symptoms such as a common cold or allergies rather than attribute them to poor indoor air quality. Air quality is a crucial component of our health and contrastingly easy to overlook due to its transparent and odorless nature. The average American spends 90% of their time indoors, so it is important to pay attention to the signs of indoor air pollutants. Continue reading to find out the common misconceptions between the common cold and poor indoor air quality! 

                    Respiratory Issues

                    Respiratory problems are a common indicator of indoor air pollutants. If you begin to notice consistent unrest inside your home that is accompanied by coughing, congestion, sore throat, and sneezing, you may want to consider receiving an indoor air quality evaluation. 


                    Man with a headacheFinding the cause of headaches or migraines is never an easy task. If you notice that you are experiencing an influx of headaches while being inside, or in a particular space, this may be an indication of poor air quality. 

                    Asthma Flare-Ups

                    If you or a family member is experiencing an increase in asthma attacks with no change in routine, the culprit could potentially be indoor air pollutants. Instant relief is attainable with a medicated inhaler, but it is important to get to the root of the problem by contacting our ELITE team for an air quality evaluation. If these flare-ups continue, we urge you to contact a medical professional.

                    Flu-Like Symptoms 

                    Flu-Like SymptomsPoor indoor air quality can lead to a combination of symptoms that may be easily confused with the flu. While air quality is most commonly linked to respiratory issues, it has the potential to lead to other issues like dizziness, headaches, and watery eyes. Fortunately, these issues can be alleviated with an air purifier that traps common household air pollutants. 


                    If you begin to notice yourself constantly feeling tired, your air quality may be the cause. Long-term exposure to poor indoor air quality not only can cause fatigue but also long-term effects such as accelerated aging of the lungs, asthma, and bronchitis. 

                    Fortunately, indoor air quality can be quickly improved by the installation of air filtration systems, UV air purifiers, and duct cleaning by our ELITE team. Give your home a seasonal refresh this year with a $49 Indoor Air Quality Evaluation! Call 772-940-5724 to schedule an appointment with our team today!