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

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

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can increase and impact your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, your house’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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease. 

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality 

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that impact your air quality are common substances. These things have chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. 

They involve: 

  1. Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner. 
  1. Personal care products, such as 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, particularly when they’re brand new. 
  1. 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 bad situations, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases. 

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality 

It isn’t hard to boost your house’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School

1. Clean Your House Often 

Regularly 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 house. 

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter 

This essential filter keeps your house comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, remove it and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it. 

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants. 

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation 

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air. 

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros 

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a resolution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request yours now! 

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