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

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

Since air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your house’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 family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these common pollutants and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that affect your air quality are common substances. These things contain chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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, especially 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

In bad cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

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

2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your home comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, remove it and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your house suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

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

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, All American Air Service Experts has a fix to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 386-310-2061 to book yours today!

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