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

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

As air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your home’s air can actually be 2–5 times more polluted 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 disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these everyday pollutants and how you can boost your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are everyday substances. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

    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, particularly when they’re brand new.
    1. Paints and stains.

Other common 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 include:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to boost your residence’s air quality. Here are a couple of recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Regularly

Routinely 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 residence.

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, take it out and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your house deals with allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also advise turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a resolution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to request yours today!

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