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

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

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

Let’s review some of these everyday contaminants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality 

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that influence your air quality are normal products. These things contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. 

They involve: 

  1. Cleaning products, like 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 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 bad situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases. 

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality 

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

1. Clean Your Residence Regularly 

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

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter 

This important filter keeps your house comfortable and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, take it out and hold it up 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 greater MERV rating. The greater 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 the weather allows. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly 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 solution to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book yours right away! 

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