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

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

As air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can build up and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these routine pollutants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

  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 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 involve:

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

In bad cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Often

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

2. Regularly Replace Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your residence cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, remove it and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a greater 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 moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to eliminate pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Roland J. Down Service Experts has a fix to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 518-417-2938 to book yours right away!

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