IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Fall IAQ Concerns: Pumpkins, Candles, and More

Fall IAQ_iStock-1026406848.jpg

Some day soon that bridge of high pressure that's been driving the extremely hot weather in the Southwest will break up and we'll start feeling some relief in Broken Arrow with cooler fall temperatures.

As the weather cools, we think about Halloween and fall harvest parties. Perhaps you enjoy enhancing the autumn ambiance by burning candles in carved pumpkins or by simmering clove-scented potpourri.

Some people find the airborne pollutants these items give off harmless, but others may suffer irritating symptoms, such as burning eyes, coughing and runny nose. What's more, closing up the house for cooler fall weather can trap these pollutants and worsen symptoms.

Read on for some information about dealing with fall IAQ concerns.

Fall IAQ Concerns

Candles. Candles may look pretty and add entrancing fall ambiance to your home, but depending on the type you burn, they can give off a lot of pollutants. Soy and beeswax candles are less harmful, while paraffin, which is petroleum based, gives off the most harmful pollutants. Also, these airborne pollutants, which include soot and volatile organic compounds (a product of off gassing), can dirty your air filter so that you have to change it more often.

Potpourri. The fact is, no matter how good or bad the fragrance, potpourri gives off VOCs, so may adversely affect allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Air fresheners. Just as with any scent-producing devices, these give off VOCs and can be harmful to those who are sensitive to them.

Fire logs. Artificial fire logs give off fewer emissions than wood, but are made from sawdust, cellulose and wax. They provide some ambiance for the home but give off less heat than wood.

Reducing VOCs and Other Pollutants

Obviously, the best way to reduce airborne pollutants in the home is to eliminate them. If you're not willing to do that, use a good quality air filter in your HVAC system. Exhaust ventilation to the outdoors and an air purifier with activated charcoal filter may also help.

For more on fall IAQ concerns, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.