Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Influence Air Quality and How to Improve It

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

Since air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can build up and impact your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday pollutants and how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are everyday substances. These things include chemicals called 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 often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially 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 bad instances, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to enhance your home’s air quality. Here are several recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Often

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

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This important 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’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a higher MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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. Contact us at (713) 352-7887 to book yours now!