Indoor Air Quality and the Holidays: How To Prep Your Home

The end-of-the-year holidays are racing toward Crawfordville, Florida again. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, to name just a few festivities arriving before the New Year! These are times when family and friends get together to share fond memories, look to the future, and have some great meals in between. It’s the perfect opportunity for quality time together.

If your home is a gathering place for holiday activities, then you know that planning is essential for success. Who will be visiting and when, what favorite recipes will you make, and how will you prepare and decorate your house? Getting everything organized and finished on time can be a challenge for even the most skilled host or hostess.

If you or your loved ones suffer from a health condition, however, then you know that an allergic reaction or asthma attack can come out of the blue and turn a festive occasion into a potentially scary situation. In the cooler months when everyone is congregating in your home, the potential for this kind of an unwanted outcome can increase thanks to allergens that accompany visitors and movement that can put more allergens into your indoor air quality.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the inside air quality of your home as you prepare for your holiday gatherings.

Be Allergen Aware

Mention allergies and many people may think only of pollen and peanuts. Allergens come in many forms and can affect different people differently, some seriously. During the winter months the pollen count may be at a low point in Florida, but other allergens remain active. Pet dander, dust, and cleaning chemicals are just a few other materials that can cause an allergic reaction or asthma attack.

As you are planning your events you can discretely ask if any guests can’t have certain foods or if they are susceptible to other potential allergic triggers such as your pets. Just knowing about these possible triggers adds a layer of confidence that you are reducing or eliminating allergens that can affect your guests.

Clean With Allergen Reduction In Mind

Certain allergens can be easily removed from the entertainment areas of your home while other allergens are more stubborn. Cleaning chemicals and foods that tend to be allergenic can be easily identified and moved to a remote closet until after your guests depart. Other allergens are more difficult or impossible to detect because of their very small size and ability to hide in plain sight.

Using a disposable duster can be very effective in reducing larger allergens like dust. A vacuum cleaner with a good HEPA filter can help pull allergens out of your carpets and fabric furniture. Wet mopping will help remove allergens from your hardwood and tile floors and cleaning with a damp cloth will do the same for other hard surfaces around your home by trapping material until you can wash it down the drain.

Maintain Your HVAC System

You should definitely include the vents from your HVAC system, using a disposable duster or vacuum and damp cloth. Your HVAC system offers basic allergen reduction via the filters in the duct returns which should be replaced a few days before your guests arrive. If you haven’t had your ductwork professionally cleaned in a while then doing so can significantly reduce allergens that have built up over time. You may also consider a professional HVAC checkup in advance of your festivities to help ensure that an HVAC failure doesn’t spoil your event.

Consider Upgrading Your HVAC System

Modern HVAC systems offer additional options that will help maintain healthy internal air quality year around. Air exchange units automatically refresh the inside air of your home with outside air while air purification units use advanced UV lamp technology to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other biological growth. Whole house humidifiers and dehumidifiers work to maintain an ideal level of moisture that doesn’t promote biological growth or cause irritation due to dryness.

Contact us today at Advanced Air Care Heating and Cooling, 850-688-9265 to discuss how to improve your indoor air quality for the holidays.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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