Christmas is going to look very different for many of us this year. But even with the threat of Covid hanging over us, it’s still a time to decorate our homes and have some fun. So we’ve put together a few tips, to help keep the air in your home free from allergens and pollutants over the coming weeks.
The danger of VOC’s
VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted from certain types of materials, such as plastics, cleaning products and new furnishings. Exposure to VOC’s can cause a wide range of symptoms, from headaches and runny nose, to more serious conditions such as liver and kidney damage, some VOC’s are also known to cause cancer.
New toys, plastic decorations, your new sofa and carpets are all potential sources of VOC’s, so take the time to read the labels before buying. Look out for products that are described as low or no VOC and when possible, choose natural materials that have little or no risk of off-gassing.
Watch out for Christmas candles
At this time of year, we all want to fill our homes with the scents of the season. But watch out, scented candles and sprays often contain dangerous amounts of chemicals and VOC’s. If you want your home to smell festive this Christmas, opt for essential oils. When buying candles, look out for products made from natural ingredients such as soy, hemp or beeswax.
Cooking up a storm in the kitchen?
Our kitchens will be busier than usual over the coming weeks. If you’re cooking on a gas stove, you could be releasing dangerous amounts of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) into the air. Nitrogen Dioxide gas is particularly hazardous for people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, as it can aggravate existing symptoms.
Ventilation is key, if you have an oven hood, keep it running, and if you don’t, open a few windows and doors to let the air circulate.
Open fires linked to dementia
If you’re thinking about relaxing in front of a roaring fire this holiday season, you may want to think again. Researchers from the UK have found a link between pollutants from fires and the onset of dementia. In fact, sitting next to a fire during the winter months is more damaging than commuting along a busy road every day for an entire year.
Even your Christmas tree can be a source of pollution
Whether you decide to go real or fake this year, your tree could be a major source of pollution in your home. Real trees may smell and look great, but they can increase the number of mold spores in your home to dangerous levels. Be sure to wash your tree and let it dry thoroughly before bringing it into the house, this will help to remove any mold that accumulated during transit.
You may also need to clean your fake tree, to remove any dust or mold that gathered when it was packed away. The same applies to your decorations, after a year in storage, they will no doubt need cleaning too.
Covid at Christmas
We can’t talk about Christmas 2020 without mentioning Covid. No one wants to celebrate the holiday season alone, but gatherings will be smaller this year and lots of us will be relying on Zoom calls to catch up with friends and family. When possible, keep your distance from people not in your household. Keep washing your hands regularly and if you are spending time with others indoors, keep your space well ventilated, to ensure a constant movement of air.
Peace of mind with Austin Air
This Christmas is going to be a challenging time for many of us. We’ve never been more focused on who and what we’re sharing the air with. If you’re concerned about keeping the air in your home clean and safe this holiday season, we can help. Our HealthMate Plus™ Air Purifier is designed to remove a wide range of pollutants, including chemicals, VOC’s, mold, allergens, gases, viruses and bacteria.
For peace of mind this holiday season, choose Austin Air.