Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Impact Air Quality and How to Enhance It

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, pollutants can build up and reduce your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your residence’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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these everyday pollutants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that influence your air quality are everyday substances. These things have chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like hairspray, perfume and nail products.
  3. Candles and air fresheners.
  4. Formaldehyde, which is often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other common 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 include:

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Regularly

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

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your residence cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often 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 has a resolution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 303-647-5749 to request yours now!

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