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

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

Since air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can increase and impact your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these routine contaminants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are normal items. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

    1. Cleaning products, like 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 frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
    1. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

    • 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 Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

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. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your house comfortable and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, take it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

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

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