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

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

As air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can build up and reduce your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease. 

Let’s discuss some of these common substances and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality 

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

They involve: 

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

Other everyday 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 include: 

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

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

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality 

It isn’t difficult to enhance your house’s air quality. Here are several recommendations from Harvard Medical School

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently 

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

2. Regularly Replace Your Air Filter 

This important filter keeps your house cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, take it out and tilt it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it. 

If someone in your residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we recommend having a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants. 

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation 

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

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros 

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

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