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

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

Because air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can build up and impact your home’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your residence’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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these everyday substances and how you can improve your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that impact your air quality are everyday substances. These things contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  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 commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically 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 include:

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

In extreme cases, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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

2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your home cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 321-428-7635 to schedule yours right away!

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