Breathe Easy: 5 Tips to Prep Your Home for the Holidays

The holidays are a time for celebration and togetherness, but they can also be a time when our home air quality suffers the most. Between cooking feasts, lighting candles, and decorating with scented products, it's easy for indoor air pollution to skyrocket. 

However, with a few simple strategies, you can maintain good air quality and keep your home healthy and comfortable for everyone. Here are five tips on how to prep your home for the holidays.

1. Avoid burning candles or incense

While they may add a cozy ambiance to your home during the holidays, candles and incense can release harmful pollutants into the air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), burning candles and incense can release various pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter. 

VOCs are chemical compounds that can evaporate at room temperature and cause many health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and allergic reactions. Particulate matter, or fine particles suspended in the air, can also harm your health, especially if you have respiratory issues. Instead of burning candles or incense, try using essential oils to add a pleasant scent to your home.



2. Keep your home well-ventilated

With all the guests and cooking going on during the holidays, proper ventilation is key to maintaining good air quality. Open your windows and use exhaust fans to help circulate the air and reduce indoor pollution. 

If you have a central heating and cooling system, make sure to change the filters regularly to keep the air clean and flowing smoothly. According to the EPA, using a high-efficiency air filter can help reduce the number of pollutants in your home by up to 90%.



3. Use non-toxic cleaning products

Many household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the lungs of your guests and contribute to poor air quality. These chemicals, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can be released into the air when you use the products and can cause various health problems. 

To reduce your exposure to VOCs, choose natural, non-toxic alternatives instead of traditional ones. Some options include vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. You can also look for cleaning products that are certified by organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) or the Green Seal. These organizations set strict standards for their ingredients to ensure they are high-quality and safe.



4. Use air-purifying plants

The holidays are a time for entertaining and hosting guests, so you want to ensure that the air in your home is fresh and clean. Adding plants to your home not only adds a touch of nature and beauty, but it also helps to improve indoor air quality. 

Consider adding a few air-purifying plants, such as spider plants, peace lilies, or snake plants, to your home to help freshen up the air for your guests. Just be sure to choose plants that are appropriate for your home's light conditions and don't require too much maintenance.



5. Keep your home clean and organized

With all the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring, it is imperative to keep your home clean and organized. Dust and clutter can trap pollutants and allergens in your home, leading to poor indoor air quality. 

Since there may be more people and activity in your home than usual, make sure to regularly dust, vacuum, and clean surfaces during the holiday season. In addition, try to keep clutter to a minimum to reduce the dust and allergens in your home.



Conclusion

Maintaining good air quality during the holidays is essential for your health and the overall comfort of your guests. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your home is a safe and healthy place to enjoy the holiday season. Happy holidays!


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