Click play to listen to the Fall Tips—Getting Cozy in a Healthy Home article.
As the sunshine and heat of summer give way to the brisk air and shorter days of fall, it’s the perfect time to update your indoor decor. As you add warm and welcoming touches to your home, you can take the chance to do some seasonal cleaning and ensure your family will enjoy a Healthy Home throughout the rest of the year.
A Guide to Getting Cozy in a Healthy Home
Throws and Blankets
Chilly nights call for extra layers, and while you’re cuddled up on the couch there’s nothing better than cocooning yourself in blankets.
Find throws and quilts with warm, neutral colors or with seasonal patterns, and drape them over the back of furniture in your living room and bedrooms.
If you’re buying new items, make sure to wash them before use. Textiles are exposed to a variety of chemicals throughout the manufacturing process, and they can irritate your skin or lungs.
The fireplace can get a little dusty over the summer months, so make sure it’s in good working order before your first cozy, crackling fire of the season.
A certified chimney sweep can inspect your fireplace area for blockages and pests, ensuring that smoke can properly ventilate. For gas and wood stoves, you’ll want a certified inspector to check them out for any leakages as well.
Keep in mind that even fireplaces in perfect condition can release harmful emissions into your home. Consider using an AprilAire air purifier to filter and remove damaging particles so your family can enjoy the comforts of the fireplace without compromising Indoor Air Quality.
Carving pumpkins is a great fall activity for the whole family. But after a couple of weeks or so, those decorative gourds can turn into a breeding ground for mold.
After displaying everyone’s creations inside for a few days, move the pumpkins outside. If it’s cold enough during the day or at night, the pumpkins will last longer. And they’re outside, so they aren’t adding allergens to your home.
The same is true for fresh fall flowers. Dispose of them once they start to wither so you don’t have to deal with the mold and mildew that can form inside the vase.
You should also be aware of the outdoor allergens like mold and ragweed that can become an issue during the fall months. Using an AprilAire air purifier and fresh air ventilator can help keep your home free of those outside irritants.
Fall brings shorter days, which means you’ll be using indoor lighting more often. This offers a great opportunity to create a cozy ambience using bulbs and fixtures that emit a warm, soft glow.
In areas of the home without many windows, you can add floor lamps or table fixtures to brighten up the space. And to achieve a subtle, fall feel, use warm lighting in the 2,700-3,000 Kelvin range and try semi-opaque lamp shades to diffuse the light in a comforting way.
When changing out lights, take a minute to dust light fixtures and room corners where you’re adding lamps. Managing dust levels is a good way to avoid allergy issues throughout the fall and winter.
The fall season lends itself well to comforting smells. From baking spices to outdoor aromas like sage and pine, burning a candle is a simple way to add ambience and comfort to your home.
Keep in mind that burning anything in your home will add volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Whether a candle is made with natural or artificial ingredients, it can affect the air quality in your home with substances that can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation.
Encourage ventilation wherever you’re burning a candle by opening a window, turning on a ceiling fan, or using an AprilAire air purifier.
Alternatives to burning candles include fall flowers, clove-studded oranges, and cinnamon sticks.