How to Maintain Air Quality During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Air Quality

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?

Most likely, good food, good company, and a good time. On the other hand, good air quality might be the last thing you think of. However, your Thanksgiving air quality might put you and your family at risk. Activities like cooking, lighting candles, and wood-burning, which are a common part of the holidays, release harmful levels of air pollution.

As such, it’s vital to consider your air quality even during festivities so you can enjoy all the fun without the adverse health risks.

Today, we’re going deep into the topic of air quality during Thanksgiving. Plus, we’re sharing tips on how to reduce air pollution while still having fun.

What Affects Air Quality During Thanksgiving?   

Air pollution is generally a bigger problem during winter as cold, dry air holds onto pollutants more readily. Plus, cold air can trap pollutants closer to the ground in a phenomenon called temperature inversion. However, the most significant factor that impacts indoor air quality during Thanksgiving is cooking.   

That’s because heat sources and cooking processes produce chemicals that can compromise indoor air quality.   

According to a 2019 study, activities like using gas flames and cooking oil and fat releases high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). They even found that homes can have as much as 13 times more indoor pollution compared to outdoors.  

However, indoor air pollution doesn't stop at cooking. Having extra people in your home can also impact air pollution as they bring pollutants with them. Also, the more people, the more likely you will see an increase in circulating moisture.   

How to Improve Air Quality during Thanksgiving   

So, what can you do to protect your air quality during Thanksgiving? Here are some tips on how to improve indoor air quality:  

Tip #1 - Monitor Indoor Air Quality  

The first thing you can do to take steps toward improving indoor air quality at home is air quality monitoring. PurpleAir air quality monitors can provide valuable data about your current air quality. This information can then be used to help make informed decisions on improving it.

You can also complement your indoor air quality data with outdoor data from the PurpleAir Map. Doing so will help you make decisions about things like ventilation when outdoor air quality is poor.   

Tip #2 - Ventilate While Cooking  

Since cooking is one of the most significant factors negatively impacting indoor air quality, ensuring proper ventilation during cooking can make the biggest difference in maintaining air quality during Thanksgiving.   

First, ensure to use the exhaust fan while cooking. And, if possible, avoid cooking methods that most negatively impact air quality, such as frying with oil. Second, if air quality is better outdoors, keep the windows open during cooking.   

Tip #3 - Check your HVAC system  

Ensure your HVAC system works efficiently. Remember to change or clean your HVAC’s filters regularly to ensure proper airflow and filtration. Most importantly, schedule regular maintenance for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to keep it running optimally.  

Tip #4 - Invest in an Air Purifier  

Air purifiers work by sucking indoor air in, passing it along a filtration system that traps particle pollution, and sending out cleaner air. They’re so effective that air purifiers with HEPA filters are known to filter as much as 99.97% of particles. As such, it will be helpful to invest in one to improve your indoor air quality.   

Tip #5 - Avoid Air Polluting Activities   

A few things to avoid during Thanksgiving that can add to indoor air pollution are wood-burning fires and candles. Even though these activities make your home feel warm and inviting, it’s best to avoid them as they can emit particulate matter and expose you to air pollution. 

While Thanksgiving is a time to cherish good food and the company of loved ones, we must not overlook the importance of maintaining good air quality during these celebrations. So, follow these tips to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for your Thanksgiving gathering, without compromising the air you breathe.

Worried About Your Air Quality?  

Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map or join PurpleAir's mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home.

Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.