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

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

As air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In fact, your home’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 review some of these routine substances and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are common items. These things contain 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, like 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, especially when they’re brand new.
  6. 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 include:

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

In bad situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to boost your house’s air quality. Here are a few suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Often

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 home.

2. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your home comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, take it out and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater 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 suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, BW/Cook Service Experts has a fix to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 574-218-6404 to book yours now!

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