Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Improve It

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, pollutants can build up and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In fact, your house’s air can actually be 2–5 times more polluted than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday pollutants and how you can enhance your house’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 impact your air quality are common items. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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, especially 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 cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

Frequently 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 important filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be changed, remove it and angle it to the light. Replace it 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 getting rid of contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a fix to help your loved ones breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 561-629-1826 to schedule yours now!

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