Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Affect Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Homes today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility bills affordable. While this is positive for your utility bill, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Since air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can increase and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 specifically detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that impact your air quality are common items. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, including 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, specifically 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In severe instances, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

Frequently 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. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your house cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, we recommend choosing a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a solution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 330-236-4793 to schedule yours today!