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

Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy expenses affordable. While this is positive for your utility costs, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can build up and affect your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these common pollutants and how you can improve your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

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

Other common 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 involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

Frequently 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 home.

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your residence cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped each month, 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 home suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

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

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