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

Homes today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility bills reasonable. While this is great for your energy expenses, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

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

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

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

They entail:

  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 often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly 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 lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your house’s air quality. Here are several suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Regularly

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

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your house comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, 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 house deals with allergies or asthma, we advise having a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

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

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 330-235-1260 to book yours now!