We have dedicated a lot of posts on this blog talking about how to improve the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of your home. But what about when you are traveling? Whether you need a place to stay for a night or are on a long vacation in one location, you want to make sure you are comfortable.
The IAQ of the accommodations can have a direct effect on your comfort level. While it is certainly harder to control the IAQ of where you are staying compared to your own home, there are steps you can take.
Understand where you are traveling. We talk a lot about outdoor air but that is going to look different depending on where you are traveling. Staying in a large city with a lot of car exhaust and other pollutants compared to staying at a resort in Hawaii with a fresh sea breeze is going to be different. In a city, you will want to limit the amount of air coming into the room, while in the other, you will want to bring as much air in as possible.
Use the ventilation systems in the unit. All the bathrooms should have at least a ventilation fan. Use them. Even when you are not in the bathroom, keep them running for an extended period. This will help to exchange the air in the room/unit. If you are staying in a unit that has a kitchen, use the range hood every time you cook.
Give the place a once over. This is one that is both for the IAQ and your overall comfort. Walkthrough the unit and look for any mold or mildew build-up. Does it look clean, is there a chemical smell, does it feel overly humid? These can all be warning signs of poor ventilation and worst – poor maintenance. If you do find any of these and you have the ability to ask for another room – do so. Sometimes it can be just that room. The harder situation is if the entire facility is like that. Now you have to make a decision on if to stay or if you try to find another place. That can get complicated with deposits, prepaid rooms and so forth.
Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean your comfort and IAQ needs to suffer. Hopefully these ideas will help you stay comfortable and sleep easy at night.