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

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills down. While this is good for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

As air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and affect your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that influence your air quality are normal items. These things include chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  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 commonly 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In severe cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Often

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

2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your residence cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know 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 home suffers from 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 removing contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Peachtree Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 678-235-9699 to request yours now!

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