The fall and winter months are a time when many holidays are celebrated and Florida residents transform their homes with beautiful seasonal decorations. However, certain types of decor can have an especially negative impact on indoor air quality. In fact, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County advises residents that poor-quality indoor air is linked to numerous respiratory ailments.
As a care provider for the Greater Orlando area, Senior Helpers strives to help residents live more safely at home. For that reason, we've rounded up the types of fall and winter home decorations that contribute the most significantly to poor indoor air quality. Keep reading to find out what they are and the steps you can take to improve your air quality this holiday season.
- Dusty Seasonal Decor From Storage
For a large part of the year, seasonal decorations are stashed away in garages or attics where they accumulate dust. When the boxes are brought back inside, they bring this dust and dirt along with them. The decorations themselves can also get quite dusty after weeks spent being displayed. Since exposure to dust can cause allergic reactions or worsen asthma, it's important to eliminate it as much as possible from your home.
To solve this issue, first choose plastic storage containers instead of cardboard, which can release small particles into the air. Before bringing the boxes inside your living area, remove the dust outside. At the end of the season, wipe down your decorations and wrap them up carefully before storage.
- Scented Candles
While scented candles are a popular way of spreading holiday scents throughout the home, many also release harmful chemicals into the air. Many candles are made from paraffin, which releases smoke and soot into the air when burned. The chemicals used to create the scents can also cause allergic reactions and worsen air quality. A healthier alternative is to use unscented beeswax candles or another natural alternative like soy wax.
Potpourri can be scented with harmful chemicals and also easily collects dust. Even small decorations like this affect air quality since pollutants accumulate quickly indoors. It's a good idea to open your windows regularly to increase ventilation. For a healthier fragrance option, create a simmer pot. Simply toss your favorite seasonal fruits and spices into a pot of water on your stove and boil to fill your home with a fresh scent.
- Pumpkins and Gourds
Decorative gourds and pumpkins make beautiful table centerpieces and entryway displays, but they can also begin rotting quickly and release mold spores into the air. Check yours regularly and dispose of them before they're past their prime. You could also consider using plastic options instead to enjoy them longer.
- Christmas Trees
While artificial Christmas trees can quickly accumulate dust over the years, live trees can also pose a risk to indoor air quality. Live Christmas trees can contain pollen and even mold. If you're using a live tree, you can protect your air quality by positioning it away from air vents and heat sources. If possible, use a leaf blower to remove dead needles and pollen before bringing it inside.
Experience an Improved Lifestyle with Senior Helpers Orlando
If you or a loved one in the Orlando area are looking for ways to continue living well at home, Senior Helpers is here for you. We offer a range of services for Apopka, Kissimmee, and Winter Park residents, and can help ensure your loved one has a safer and more fulfilling holiday season. To learn more about our services, contact us.