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

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

Since air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can increase and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, your house’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 specifically detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these common substances and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact 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 normal items. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

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

Other typical pollutants include:

    • Dust
    • Pet dander
    • Pollen
    • Mold

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

Some people are more influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Frequently

Routinely cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help reduce on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your home.

2. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your residence comfortable and air fresh. 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 swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a fix to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request yours now!

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