Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Affect Air Quality and How to Improve It
Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling costs reasonable. While this is good for your heating and cooling expenses, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.
As air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your house’s air can actually be 2–5 times more polluted than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.
Let’s review some of these everyday pollutants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.
6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality
When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are normal substances. These things contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
- Personal care products, such as hairspray, perfume and nail products.
- Candles and air fresheners.
- Formaldehyde, which is commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
- Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially when they’re brand new.
- Paints and stains.
Other typical pollutants include:
- Pet dander
Symptoms of VOC Exposure
Some people are more influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
In severe situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.
4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
It isn’t hard to boost your home’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School:
1. Clean Your Residence Regularly
Routinely cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, such as furniture, carpet and bedding, will help cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.
2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter
This crucial filter keeps your residence comfortable 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 swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and hold it up to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.
If someone in your house deals with allergies or asthma, we recommend using a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.
3. Maximize Natural Ventilation
Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.
4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros
From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a resolution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to schedule yours now!
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