Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Influence Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling bills reasonable. While this is good for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and reduce your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your home’s air can actually be 2–5 times worse than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these common pollutants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that impact your air quality are common products. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, including hairspray, perfume and nail products.
  3. Candles and air fresheners.
  4. Formaldehyde, which is commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other everyday pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

Some people are more sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

  • Irritated eyes, nose or throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

In bad situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your house cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped each month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a fix to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to book yours right away!

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