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

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

As air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can increase and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these common pollutants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that decrease your air quality are everyday substances. These things have chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, like 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, 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

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 house.

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and hold it up 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 suggest choosing a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher 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 weather allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Strand Brothers Service Experts has a fix to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 512-592-3072 to book yours right away!

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