With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many people have already started the process of digging out holiday décor from garages and basements to set it up inside of their home. Follow these helpful tips to protect your home air when you prepare for the upcoming holiday season:
Skip the candles and scented decorations
While many people love to light holiday themed scented candles and to use fragranced products around the holidays, these items contain numerous hazardous chemicals that are contaminating your home air and should not be brought into your home. Resist the urge to buy those cinnamon scented pinecones and opt for naturally scented items. You can trim some boughs from evergreens and other coniferous plants and place them around your home. You can also boil some water and add cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and cloves for a lovely holiday scent. Finally, stick a pie in the oven or a tray of cookies. Guests will appreciate the lovely holiday scents and you won’t be polluting your home air with chemicals.
Toss old decorations covered in fire-retardant sprays, adhesives, and chemical laden paints
Let’s face it, 25 years ago maintaining healthy indoor air quality was not as big of a priority as it is nowadays. Many people were unaware of the dangers associated with breathing in chemical particulates from paints, varnishes, adhesives, and fire-retardant sprays. While it may be difficult to let go of decorations passed down from one generation to the next, that old light-up Santa Claus is not only a fire hazard with its deteriorating power cord, it is also most likely covered in paint containing toxic chemicals. The same goes for older Christmas trees (often covered in fire-retardant spray loaded with dangerous chemicals), and other décor items containing adhesives or paint.
Have your microfiber dust cloths ready
Even if you store your holiday décor carefully packed inside of storage containers, the process of bringing these containers out of storage and into your living room stirs up a lot of particles that contaminate your indoor air. Unfinished basements and attics often contain dust particles contaminated with toxic chemicals from insulation and other construction materials. Take the time to dust off decorations and container lids with a microfiber cloth before carrying them into your main living areas. Vacuum with a HEPA filtered model as soon as you get your decorations set out into place. Microfiber wipes used on hard surface floors trap dust and other particles.