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

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

As air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can build up and affect your home’s indoor air quality. In fact, your residence’s air can actually be 2–5 times more unhealthy 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 concerns or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday pollutants and how you can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

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

They entail:

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

Other common 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 severe cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to enhance your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your residence comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest using a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also advise turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a solution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book yours right away!

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