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

Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility costs down. While this is positive for your energy bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 specifically detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that impact your air quality are common products. 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.
  2. Personal care products, such as 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 common 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 severe cases, 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 residence’s air quality. Here are a few ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Regularly

Frequently 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. Frequently Switch Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, take it out and tilt it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a solution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 587-404-0790 to schedule yours right away!

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