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

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

Because air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can build up and affect your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your home’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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that influence your air quality are normal products. These things include 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, including 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, specifically when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other common 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 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 difficult to boost your home’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Often

Frequently 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 house.

2. Regularly Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, take 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 home suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Climate Control Service Experts has a fix to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 251-202-7503 to schedule yours right away!

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