A home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner may fill you with the wonderful aroma of delicious food. A Thanksgiving feast can involve many days of baking, cooking, and people sharing one space. All these factors can lead to indoor air pollution. Be mindful of your indoor air quality as you prepare for the holiday season. These Thanksgiving indoor air quality tips will help you combat indoor pollution.
Indoor Air Pollution Sources for Thanksgiving
It might seem strange to consider the holiday season as an increase in indoor air pollution. It makes sense when we break it down. These are the main pollutants that can be caused by hosting Thanksgiving events at home:
- People gathering in an indoor space
These sources are combined with colder temperatures, heaters on, and closed windows and doors. This creates poor indoor air quality which will adversely affect everyone living in the home.
Baking and cooking are both sources of indoor air pollution. Different types of pollutants are dependent on the heat source, whether it is electric, gas, or wood. The actual processes can also produce chemicals or aromatic hydrocarbons, which can compromise indoor air quality. Smoke is released into the atmosphere by burning wood or using other wood-based alternatives. Oil particulates are released into the atmosphere by frying. Along with the combustion gases, gas stoves and ovens can produce toxic pollutants such as formaldehyde. You and your guests will be exposed to harmful chemicals in cooking sprays, cookware, and kitchen countertop sprays.
Indoor air pollution is also a common problem caused by guests. People who visit your home bring with them pollutants. These pollutants include pollen, germs, and perfume, as well as airborne transmitted diseases. These pollutants can circulate through the air and settle on surfaces, affecting air quality. There are many tips and tricks that can help you and your family keep safe this Thanksgiving holiday.
To improve your air quality, the first thing you can do is ventilate. We mean ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to run the kitchen exhaust fan. Even if you don’t have an exhaust fan, many stovetops and ovens offer exhaust options. Although they may only be used for a limited amount of time, this can still work. You can also open your windows and doors to increase circulation, depending on the weather. You can make your space and home more comfortable with fresh air.
Although it would be great to have both an exhaust fan and windows, it may not always be the most comfortable in November. Windows and doors are not an option if the climate is too cold or unfavorable. To reduce the number of pollutants and fumes from cooking, even modest ventilation is better than none.
A whole-home ventilation system moves fresh air throughout your entire home, which is better than localized options. A whole-home mechanical ventilation system is easy to install and very cost-effective. There are many ventilation options, including ERVs or HRVs. Both work in conjunction with your existing HVAC system to move old, polluted air out and bring in the fresh air.
You can increase the moisture level in your home by cooking in the oven, boiling water for mashed potatoes, or steaming vegetables. The opposite is true. As the weather gets colder, we turn to heaters to keep warm. This causes the air to lose more moisture and makes it feel dryer. If humidity levels are too low or too high, pollen, allergens, and bacteria can thrive. Installing a whole-home humidifier/dehumidifier is the best way to manage your home’s humidity. A professional indoor air quality specialist can help you determine the right system to maintain your indoor relative humidity between 40-60% depending on your location.
Are you sure you remember when you last changed your filters in your home? What about furnace filters or return filters? Filtered appliances and devices can only work effectively and protect themselves if they are regularly cleaned and changed. Poor indoor air quality is a result of dirty or clogged filters in the HVAC system. You can prevent unwanted particles and debris from circulating by changing your filters. Also, it will prolong the life of your HVAC system. Install new filters before you host Thanksgiving dinner. From there, we recommend creating a schedule for filter changes!
Indoor air quality improvements are easy with air filters. We recommend MERV-13 filters for all homes. MERV-13 filters provide improved air quality and can be easily integrated into existing systems without the need for costly upgrades. These filters can have a noticeable and immediate impact on the air quality in your home. These filters capture harmful pollutants such as mold spores and dust mites.
Get in touch with an HVAC contractor
You can contact J.C.’s Heating and Air if you have any questions about Thanksgiving or the holiday season. We are happy to provide indoor air quality tips and solutions. The best choice is to prioritize whole-home and whole-space solutions. Indoor air quality is vital as it has a significant impact on the quality of the home and the occupants’ well-being. Indoor air quality can be improved by choosing solutions that improve the whole space. This is especially important before the holiday season. We have many recommendations for improving indoor air quality that can be tailored to your home.
Contact J.C.’s Heating and Air to keep your home’s air quality at its best. Give us a call at (865) 388-1712 today!
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