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

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

As air has decreased chances to escape, pollutants can accumulate and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these common contaminants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are everyday products. These things contain chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like hairspray, perfume and nail products.
  3. Candles and air fresheners.
  4. Formaldehyde, which is often 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

  • 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 Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to boost your home’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Routinely 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 residence.

2. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be swapped, remove it and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we suggest choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 239-908-6991 to schedule yours right away!

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