Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This entails extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy costs affordable. While this is good for your energy costs, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

As air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can increase and impact your home’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these common pollutants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are normal items. These things contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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, particularly 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your home’s air quality. Here are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Often

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

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

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a solution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 303-647-5853 to request yours right away!

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