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

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling expenses affordable. While this is good for your energy costs, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Since air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and impact your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your residence’s air can actually be 2–5 times worse than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s specifically 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 boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that impact your air quality are normal substances. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like 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, 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

  • 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 Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to enhance your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Often

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

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your house comfortable and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we recommend choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, A-PLUS Service Experts has a resolution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 301-747-3140 to schedule yours right away!

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