Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Influence Air Quality and How to Enhance It

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

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

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that decrease your air quality are common items. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, such as 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 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 include:

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Often

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

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your house comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, 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 residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

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

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a fix to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 901-235-1196 to book yours today!

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