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

Homes today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy costs down. While this is great for your energy expenses, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and reduce your home’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 especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these everyday substances and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, including 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, specifically 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Often

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help reduce on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your home.

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped each month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, remove it and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. 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, McElroy Service Experts has a resolution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 308-210-4398 to request yours now!

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