What Are the IAQ Concerns for Valentine’s Day?

What Are the IAQ Concerns for Valentine's Day?It’s hard to think that Valentine’s Day would be a health hazard, but there are some IAQ concerns (indoor air quality) to be aware of, especially if you or someone else has allergies, asthma, or a compromised respiratory system.

Products and gifts commonly associated with Valentine’s Day include perfumes, plants and pets. Here’s how they may affect your IAQ:

Perfumes

Artificial scents are often made from hydrocarbons that are loaded with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemical byproducts may cause respiratory distress, dizziness, headaches, vision problems, or even memory problems. Long-term exposure can cause serious health problems like cancer, organ failure, or nervous system disorders.

Over the Valentine’s Day holiday, you may encounter elevated levels of VOCs from:

  • Perfumes found in the candles you burn.
  • Cleaning products you use.
  • Air sprays you use in the bathrooms.
  • Plug-in air fresheners in your home.

Fortunately, there are VOC-free unscented candles made from soybeans and beeswax. You can also use natural cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide instead of commercial cleaners. Use baking soda in kitty litter boxes to minimize their odor and dishes filled with baking soda wherever you have stale air. Even though it has a pungent odor when wet, spraying vinegar will also remove odors from the air.

Plants

Flowers are common gifts and do present some IAQ concerns, not so much for the flowers in the bouquet, but for the plant fillers used inside them. Unless you know otherwise, odds are your plant allergies stem from trees, shrubs and grasses that have tiny and innocuous flowers. Baby’s breath, for example, is more likely to irritate allergies than roses.

Pets

Animals with fur are the most prone to causing allergies, not because of the fur but because of their dander. The dander is basically dead skin cells that they shed continuously. So if you got a new furry friend for the holiday, learn about ways to minimize allergens in your home and the way they may affect your HVAC system and efficiency.

While Valentine’s Day may intensify your IAQ concerns, it may be a year-round issue for you. To learn more, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating, providing HVAC services for Palm Beach, Indian River and Martin Counties.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658. 

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