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

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can build up and reduce your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these routine pollutants and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

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

They include:

    1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
    1. Personal care products, such as hairspray, perfume and nail products.
    1. Candles and air fresheners.
    1. Formaldehyde, which is frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
    1. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In severe cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Regularly 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 house.

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your house cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and angle it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, we advise 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 circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also advise 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 fix to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to schedule yours today!

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