Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy costs affordable. While this is great for your energy bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can build up and affect your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 specifically detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these common contaminants and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are common items. These things have chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, such as hairspray, perfume and nail products.
  3. Candles and air fresheners.
  4. Formaldehyde, which is frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

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

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to enhance your home’s air quality. Here are a couple of ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Regularly

Regularly cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your home.

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your house comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, take it out and angle it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Stevenson Service Experts has a fix to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 937-503-7896 to book yours right away!

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