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

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

As air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and impact your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your home’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 specifically detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that influence your air quality are everyday items. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

    1. Cleaning products, including 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, 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

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

2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, pull it out and hold it up 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 recommend choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

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

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