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

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

Because air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can increase and impact your home’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that influence your air quality are everyday substances. These things include chemicals referred to 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, particularly when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other typical 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 extreme instances, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to enhance your house’s air quality. Here are several suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Frequently

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

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

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

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

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Teays Valley Service Experts has a solution to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 304-760-5088 to book yours today!

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