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

Residences today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This includes added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility bills reasonable. While this is positive for your energy bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and reduce your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these common substances and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that affect your air quality are common items. These things contain 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, including 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, specifically 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 affected by 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 can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Regularly

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

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your house cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be changed, take it out and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, we recommend using a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Levy & Son Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 469-250-0932 to schedule yours right away!

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