Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Enhance It

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

As air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can increase and decrease 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 specifically detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these common contaminants and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are everyday substances. 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 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 cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to enhance your residence’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your home comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Eveready Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 804-548-4480 to book yours right away!

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