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

Residences today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy costs reasonable. While this is positive for your energy bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, pollutants can build up and reduce your home’s indoor air quality. In fact, your home’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 loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like hairspray, perfume and nail products.
  3. Candles and air fresheners.
  4. Formaldehyde, which is frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In extreme cases, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

Frequently 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. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, remove it and angle it 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 recommend having a filter with a greater MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a fix to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to book yours right away!