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How Indoor Air Quality Can Be Affected by Holiday Decorations

indoor air qualityYour indoor air quality is important all year long. Unfortunately, at the height of summer or winter, we tend to keep our homes shut up airtight, helping pollutants build up and cause breathing problems.

That’s not to mention the complications that Christmas decorations such as trees and fresh wreaths can cause. Read on to learn why.

How Fresh Christmas Trees Cause IAQ Problems

We all love the smell of fresh Christmas trees, but those trees are not always good for your health. Often, the trees have lain stacked in a damp pile. Mold may have taken root and started to multiply. Once the trees are piled into a closed truck for delivery, the problem is exacerbated. The tree you place in your home may have as many as 50 species of pathogenic mold spores on it, in addition to dust and pollen from other trees in the forest that can also cause problems, such as allergic and asthmatic reactions.

The same can happen to the greenery used for fresh wreaths.

Even artificial trees, lights, and decorations may also harbor mold, dust, and other pollutants if they’ve been stored in your garage or basement. Furthermore, artificial trees and wreaths may off-gas harmful pollutants, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Cleaning Christmas Decorations

To prevent IAQ problems, try hosing down that fresh tree before you bring it indoors. You can also try washing it with fruit and vegetable wash. Let it dry before you bring it in.

You can also wipe down artificial decorations with a dust cloth, and wash tree skirts in hot, soapy water to get rid of pollutants. Use gloves while you handle the tree or decorations.

Air Purifier

One of the best ways to improve IAQ is to acquire an air purifier, either whole-house or portable, with a carbon-activated filter. These filters are helpful at eliminating VOCs. Installing ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights in the HVAC may also help to fight mold and fungus.

For more on holiday indoor air quality, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We serve Yuma and the surrounding area.