‘Tis the season for welcoming others into your home. Let’s get you, your house and your indoor air quality guest-ready.
As the holiday season approaches, every host wants to have their house prepped and ready for company. To make sure your house is all set, work your way through the following tasks before your loved ones arrive.
Download the checklist here.
Beds are a hotspot for allergens like dust mites, which can be found in pillows, blankets and stuffed animals. Pet hair can also gather in the carpet and on the floors.¹ Guests with sensitivities to allergens will be especially appreciative if you take the time to tackle dust mites and pet hair prior to their arrival.
The bathroom is an extremely common place to find mold. Because of the steam produced by the bath and shower, the room holds moisture that allows mold and mildew to thrive. Keep an eye on your shower curtain, since it’s particularly prone to mildew. You may need to replace it before hosting this season. For preventive measures, make sure you’re always running an exhaust fan after you take a shower.¹
Moisture is not exclusive to the bathroom; you can also find it in the basement. As a guideline, relative humidity levels should remain between 30% and 50%. When it gets too high, bacteria and mold can start to grow in carpet and building materials.² So if humidity is a problem for you, consider a dehumidifier to maintain appropriate levels.
During the holidays, it’s fun to go big with decorations. Unfortunately, more stuff means more dust. Before you put everything out, give the surfaces a generous cleaning to get rid of dust, pet hair and any other allergens. If debris continues to repeatedly collect between knick-knacks, it may be helpful to limit what you choose to display.
According to the American Lung Association, many cleaning products can cause health problems due to their ingredients. Even when advertised as a “green” product, some supplies can still negatively impact your well-being. Avoid volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia and bleach — which are among the harmful chemicals found in cleaning supplies — and never mix bleach and ammonia which creates a toxic gas.
To minimize exposure, stay away from aerosol sprays, air fresheners, chlorine bleach, furniture polish and oven cleaners. And when choosing a product, read the directions on the label. You should always have good ventilation — such as a window open or an exhaust fan running — when using a cleaner.³
What says “It’s the holidays!” more than a toasty fire? However, this charming activity requires a bit of maintenance, since combustion sources like fuel- and wood-burning appliances can lower indoor air quality. Before you light up the fire, open up a door and/or window in the room. Ventilation, maintenance or installation issues in a chimney create a backdraft of pollutants, which will go into the living space.² If you notice the air is stuffy or overly smelly, have a professional come check it out.
A Filtrete™ Smart Air Purifier will help your improved indoor air stick around. The easy-to-use device works 24/7, monitoring and automatically jumping into action if the air quality drops. Its True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne particles*, including but not limited to dust, lint and bacteria. Plus, the Filtrete™ Smart App will let you know when it's time to replace your filter.
*As small as 0.3 microns from the air passing through the filter media. Initial efficiency value.