When the Carolina breeze turns crisp and trees begin to display vibrant fall foliage, it is time to switch to autumnal decorations around the home. For many of us this means using real gourd and pumpkin decorations to evoke a bountiful fall harvest. This natural décor won’t stay beautiful for very long, however, if you don’t keep the following temperature and humidity tips in mind.

Temperature for Pumpkin Decorations

Pumpkin decorations stay fresh the longest in cool temperatures around 60 degrees. If you are like many people, however, your typical winter thermostat setting is around 70 degrees or higher and dropping the temperature to 60 or less feels too uncomfortable. If keeping your fall decorations in mint condition is a primary concern, try turning the heat down to at least 65 to allow pumpkins and gourds to last longer.

Make sure to keep the decorations away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, portable heaters, appliances, sunny windows, and lamps. Even when the thermostat is set low, these heat sources can raise the temperature enough around pumpkins to accelerate premature rotting. For the same reason, you should consider using battery powered candles instead of traditional candles in your Jack O’ Lanterns.

Humidity and Pumpkin Decorations

When indoor humidity is too low, your pumpkin decorations can dry out and shrink into unappealing shapes. On the other hand, if humidity is too high, pumpkins can quickly rot. Rotting pumpkins look terrible but these aesthetic changes aren’t nearly as serious as the impact of the mold spores on your home’s indoor air quality.

Mold and bacteria growth on rotting pumpkins affects your home’s overall air quality. Allergy sufferers are often the first to be impacted, but everyone else in the household can, eventually, develop respiratory problems or other health issues. Using bleach solutions to clean and disinfect the rind of pumpkins can delay the rotting process to some extent, but keeping your home’s humidity levels between 50 to 65 percent is even better.

For more information about controlling your indoor climate and achieving ideal indoor air quality during the holidays, please contact us at Jackson & Sons.

Jackson & Sons, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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