Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Affect Air Quality and How to Improve It

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility costs down. While this is great for your heating and cooling expenses, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your home’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 particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that influence your air quality are everyday substances. These things include chemicals referred to as 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 commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other typical 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 entail:

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

In bad cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to boost your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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

2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfortable and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The higher 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 suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to get rid of pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Commercial HVAC has a fix to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 289-201-2346 to book yours right away!

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