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  • 5 Ways to Help Clear the Air for Holiday Guests

    As you prep for visiting friends and family this season, don’t forget about your home’s indoor air quality.

    Clear the air for visiting guests this holiday season with these five tips.

    • The holiday hosting craze brings lots of menu planning, present shopping and tidying spare bedrooms. It’s also an excellent time to rethink your home’s indoor air quality, and how it might affect your guests. Read on for five ways to help keep the air cleaner this holiday season. 

      Get a real tree (if you’re in the market)

      With their easy maintenance (no watering or needles to worry about!) and long lifespan, it’s easy to see why artificial Christmas trees are popular. However, the plastic material they’re made with can break down over time and may release chemicals like lead into the air. Real trees, on the other hand, naturally clean the air by emitting oxygen—and that fresh pine scent—all season long.  

      Skip scented candles

      Fragrances like pumpkin pie and vanilla bean instantly make us think of the holiday season, and while lighting a candle may seem like the perfect finishing touch before guests enter your home, it can pollute the air with PM 2.5.

      You don’t have to completely forgo seasonal scents, however. You could also simmer a mix of oranges, cranberries and cinnamon sticks on the stovetop to create your own “room perfume.”   

      Use proper ventilation

      Between holiday parties and family get-togethers, your kitchen will be getting a workout this season. To ensure the only thing leaving your oven is perfectly cooked turkeys, hams, pies and cookies—as opposed to grease, gases and other particles—it’s important to properly ventilate while cooking.

      Before you even reach for your recipe box, turn on the range fan (it’s not just there for when you burn food!) and open your windows.         

      Clean the fireplace chimney

      A crackling fireplace adds to the ambiance of a holiday gathering, but a poorly functioning unit can spell disaster for the quality of your indoor air. Get your chimney swept and inspected prior to your first fire of the season to rid it of any buildup and keep pollutants from being inhaled.          

      Dust off décor

      After being stowed away all year, holiday décor (think: tree skirts and stockings) likely needs some sprucing up. Don’t hang them by the chimney until they’re cleaned according to the label’s instructions to prevent dust from being propelled into the air.