The holidays are a slug fest. Whereas Costco, along with the local retailers have already had their Christmas stuff out for more than a month, we know that the season kicks into full gear for homeowner’s with “back-to-school” which is a short jab to Halloween, then a quick swing into Thanksgiving, stumbling into Black Friday, then it’s a right hook knocking you towards the big show. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus for the rest of us, all wrapping with a 10 count down to the New Year. Whatever you happen to celebrate, it’s at standing at your proverbial doorstep. If you happen to be shopping your way through the season, check out Prince William County’s local Farmers Markets.
Back at home, as the weather cools many homeowners in Virginia begin to prepare their homes for the upcoming holiday season. Between decorating, cooking, and entertaining, it’s easy to let some of our regular household chores slide. But there’s one chore you can’t afford to neglect, even during the busiest time of year: keeping your home’s air clean. On the heels of a unusually hot summer, windows were shut tight to keep your home cool. The air inside our homes is often more polluted than the air outside, and during the holidays when we’re spending more time indoors, it’s important to be extra vigilant about keeping it clean. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to protect your family from harmful airborne particles this holiday season.
Here are some tips that you can do to keep your home’s air clean throughout the holidays.
One of the best ways to ensure that your home’s air is clean is to change your filters regularly. Most people only think to do this in the spring and fall, but it’s just as important in the winter. If you have a forced-air heating system, be sure to check your filters at least once a month and change them when they start to look dirty. This will help remove allergens, dust, and other pollutants from the air before they have a chance to build up.
Another way to reduce pollutants in your home’s air is to vacuum and mop your floors regularly. Dust and dirt can easily become airborne when disturbed, so it’s important to keep them as clean as possible. If you have carpets, be sure to vacuum them at least once a week with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. And don’t forget about those hard-to-reach places like under the furniture and in corners—a good rule of thumb is that if you can see dust, it’s time to break out the vacuum! For hard floors, sweep or vacuum them first and then mop with a damp (not wet) mop or cloth. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaning products whenever possible— opt for natural cleaners or make your own using vinegar and water instead.
When weather permits, open up your windows to let fresh air into your home. This will help clear out any stale or polluted air that may have built up indoors. Just be sure to close your windows again before cranking up the heat—you want to avoid wasting energy by heating up the great outdoors!
Houseplants are not only beautiful decorations—they’re also natural air purifiers. Some plants are even more effective at cleansing indoor air than others so choose carefully if you’re looking for maximum pollutant-removal power. Some of the best plants for filtering indoor air include English ivy, spider plants, Peace lilies, bamboo palms, and rubber plants. Just be sure not pay too much attention to aesthetics when choosing—after all, what good is a beautiful plant if it’s not doing its job?
The holidays are a busy time of year, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect our household chores. In fact, this is the time of year when we need to be extra vigilant about keeping our homes clean—especially when it comes to the air we breathe. By changing our filters regularly, cleaning our floors frequently, opening our windows when weather permits, and bringing plants indoors, we can help ensure that our families are breathing clean air all season long.
Need some help? Our IAQ specialists in Northern Virginia are here to help create an action plan to make your indoor air safe and clean.
Work with an honest and reliable HVAC company with decades of industry experience in the Woodridge, VA, and surrounding areas by calling (703) 483-2400