How Christmas Decorations Can Affect Your Indoor Air Quality

How Christmas Decorations Can Affect Your Indoor Air Quality

We’d never recommend you forgo Christmas trees and all the decorative items that we traditionally put up during the holidays. After all, the wreaths, ornaments, yuletide candles, and the rest help lift our spirits and enhance the holiday ambiance. However, there’s a negative side to decorating, especially with live items such as trees and wreaths. Here’s how your indoor air quality can be impacted by Christmas trees and other holiday items.

Christmas Trees

Field-grown Christmas trees may be covered in pollen (from other trees). Once they are cut, they are stacked in a pile, where they may develop and harbor mold, especially if damp conditions prevail. They are then tightly piled into a truck for delivery, where they may remain for days. Once again, conditions for the growth of mold are optimal.

When you choose a tree for your home, you may think of it as “fresh” and clean, but you’d do well to spray it off and even wash it with fruit and vegetable wash before you bring it into your home — particularly if anyone in your home is asthmatic or has allergic reactions to mold or pollen.

Fresh wreaths may also harbor mold or pollen.

Artificial trees also have some issues, in that they may be off-gassing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which cause allergic reactions in some people.

Candles

Holiday candles create a nice atmosphere, while the scented types add to the yuletide ambiance by giving off fragrances associated with winter, such as cloves, cinnamon, balsam, and spruce. But candles made of paraffin, a petroleum-based substance, give off VOCs that may be harmful to your breathing. Furthermore, paraffin candles give off soot, which can clog your air filter. Soy or beeswax candles are a better bet for your indoor air quality (IAQ).

Consider using an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to deal with some of the airborne pollutants given off by trees and candles. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights (UVGI) can help against mold.

For more on your holiday indoor air quality, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, serving Neptune City and the surrounding area.

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