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

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can build up and reduce your residence’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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these routine contaminants and how you can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

    1. Cleaning products, including 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 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In severe instances, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to boost your residence’s air quality. Here are several recommendations 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 cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you use. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible 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 & Plumbing has a fix to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request yours today!

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