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

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility costs reasonable. While this is positive for your heating and cooling expenses, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your house’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 family members 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 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that decrease your air quality are common substances. These things have chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  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 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 typical pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

Some people are more affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

Frequently 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. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your house cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also advise running 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, Comfortech Service Experts has a fix to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 601-852-3105 to book yours today!

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