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

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

Because air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can build up and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your residence’s air can actually be 2–5 times worse than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease. 

Let’s review some of these routine substances and how you can boost your home’s indoor air quality

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality 

When you picture pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that decrease your air quality are normal products. These things have chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. 

They involve: 

  1. Cleaning products, like 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, especially 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 involve: 

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality 

It isn’t hard to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School

1. Clean Your House 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 Replace 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 have. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, pull 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 recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants. 

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation 

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly 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 solution to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to request yours right away! 

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