Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Improve It

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

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

Let’s discuss some of these everyday contaminants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are common items. These things have chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  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 frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially 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 entail:

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

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

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, take it out and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather 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 to HEPA filters, A1 Chesney Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 587-315-5271 to request yours right away!

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