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

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can increase and impact your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that influence your air quality are everyday items. These things contain chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like 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 commonly 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 include:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Often

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

2. Frequently Switch Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, remove it and hold it up to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, we suggest choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also advise using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Broad Ripple Service Experts has a solution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 317-527-0271 to book yours now!

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