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

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

Since air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can build up and reduce your house’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your home’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 especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these routine contaminants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that impact your air quality are everyday items. These things have chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like 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, specifically when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other common 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 extreme cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

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 house.

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, 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 home deals with allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

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

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Calverley Service Experts has a fix to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 817-380-5647 to request yours right away!

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