Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Make It Better 

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

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can increase and reduce your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, your home’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 specifically detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease. 

Let’s discuss some of these routine pollutants and how you can improve your house’s indoor air quality

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality 

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

They entail: 

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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 commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products. 
  1. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically when they’re brand new. 
  1. 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 involve: 

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality 

It isn’t complicated to enhance your home’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School

1. Clean Your Residence Often 

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

2. Regularly Replace Your Air Filter 

This crucial filter keeps your home comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it. 

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants. 

3. Improve Natural Ventilation 

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air. 

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros 

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a fix to help your household breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book yours today! 

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