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

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy expenses affordable. While this is good for your utility expenses, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and decrease your house’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 specifically detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that affect your air quality are common substances. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  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 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 involve:

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

In severe situations, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Frequently

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

2. Frequently Switch Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your house comfortable and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, remove it and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence deals with allergies or asthma, we recommend using a filter with a higher MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Fras-Air/General Service Experts has a solution to help your loved ones breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 908-448-2154 to book yours now!

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