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

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

Since air has decreased chances to escape, pollutants can increase and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 specifically detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

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

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, like 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 frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially 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 involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to enhance your home’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Frequently

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like 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 essential filter keeps your residence comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, pull it out and angle it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home has 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. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air has a solution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 210-404-4233 to book yours today!