Has anyone in your household ever suffered from allergic reactions when you’ve brought a Christmas tree home? It turns out lots of people find their indoor air quality less than desirable as soon as the tree makes an entrance.
It’s Not Just About the Pollen
While Christmas trees may bring along pollen that can trigger allergic reactions, they aren’t producing pollen at the time they are harvested and sold. The pollen found on them is likely from other species, and has just settled onto the trees.
And pollen isn’t even the most potent allergen on the Christmas tree. It actually turns out to be mold that gives the sensitive fits — mold that, within a two-week period of the tree entering your home can rise to five times the normal levels found in your indoor air.
The mold occurs because of the way the trees are transported. After being cut down, they may lie together in a pile, and then are loaded onto a trailer, tightly packed, for transport. The moisture on the trees and the damp, close conditions provide a perfect habitat for mold to take root. By the time they enter our homes, they are already producing mold spores, which continue to proliferate in the warm interiors of houses.
Mold not only triggers allergic reactions, but can also aggravate asthma. If you suffer from sensitivity to mold, you might try bringing the tree into your home later — no more than seven days prior to Christmas — and then getting rid of it before mold levels grow.
Alternatives to Christmas Trees
There are several alternatives to live Christmas trees, an artificial tree being the most common. But you can also try these novel graphic solutions:
- A stylish chalkboard Christmas tree drawing, with holiday messages and motifs;
- An enlarged print of a Christmas tree, hung up like a tapestry;
- A wall decorated with diminishing lengths of copper piping, in the shape of a tree, with small ornaments hanging from them.
For more on improving indoor air quality this holiday season, contact Powers Heating and Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.