Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Enhance It 

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

Because air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can increase and decrease your house’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 family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease. 

Let’s go over some of these common contaminants and how you can boost your home’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 common substances. These things have chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. 

They involve: 

  1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner. 
  1. Personal care products, including hairspray, perfume and nail products. 
  1. Candles and air fresheners. 
  1. Formaldehyde, which is often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products. 
  1. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically 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 can lead to respiratory and heart diseases. 

4 Ways to Boost Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality 

It isn’t hard to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are a few suggestions from Harvard Medical School

1. Clean Your Home Often 

Regularly cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house. 

2. Frequently Switch Your Air Filter 

This essential filter keeps your residence comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you use. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, 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 home suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a better 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 circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to get rid of 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 resolution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to book yours today! 

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