Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Influence Air Quality and How to Enhance It
Homes today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility costs affordable. While this is positive for your energy expenses, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.
Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can increase and affect your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 specifically detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.
Let’s go over some of these common pollutants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.
6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality
When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are common items. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
- Personal care products, such as hairspray, perfume and nail products.
- Candles and air fresheners.
- Formaldehyde, which is commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
- Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially when they’re brand new.
- Paints and stains.
Other typical pollutants include:
- Pet dander
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
In extreme cases, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.
4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
It isn’t hard to improve your home’s air quality. Here are several recommendations from Harvard Medical School:
1. Clean Your House Frequently
Frequently 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 house.
2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter
This essential filter keeps your house cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, remove it and angle 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 advise having a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.
3. Improve Natural Ventilation
Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and bring in more fresh air.
4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros
From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a solution to help your household breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book yours right away!
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