Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Enhance It 

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy expenses down. While this is positive for your heating and cooling costs, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality. 

Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and impact your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, your house’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 conditions or heart disease. 

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

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality 

When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are normal substances. These things have chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. 

They include: 

  1. Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner. 
  1. Personal care products, including hairspray, perfume and nail products. 
  1. Candles and air fresheners. 
  1. Formaldehyde, which is often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products. 
  1. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail: 

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality 

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

1. Clean Your Residence Often 

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

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter 

This crucial filter keeps your house comfy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, 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. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it. 

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise using a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants. 

3. Improve Natural Ventilation 

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air. 

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros 

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a fix to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to request yours now! 

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