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

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

Because air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can build up and affect 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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that affect your air quality are normal products. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, including 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 frequently 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

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

4 Ways to Boost Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are several recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

Routinely 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. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your residence cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, take it out and hold it up to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 330-269-7235 to request yours now!