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

Houses 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 great for your energy bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

As air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 concerns or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these common pollutants and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are normal items. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like 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 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 situations, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to enhance your house’s air quality. Here are several suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

Frequently 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 critical filter keeps your house cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, take it out and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise installing 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 regularly to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 407-329-7661 to request yours now!

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