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

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

Since air has decreased chances to escape, pollutants can build up and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 everyday substances and how you can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that decrease your air quality are everyday substances. These things have chemicals called 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, especially when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other typical 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 entail:

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

In bad situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to improve your home’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Regularly cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.

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 type of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of 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 fix to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 305-440-1505 to book yours right away!

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