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 involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility expenses down. While this is positive for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these routine contaminants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

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

They include:

  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 often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other common 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 include:

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

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

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help reduce on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your residence cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, take it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Stevenson Service Experts has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 614-334-3192 to request yours right away!

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