Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Impact Air Quality and How to Make It Better

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills affordable. While this is good for your energy bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and reduce your house’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 specifically detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that impact your air quality are normal substances. These things include chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like 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 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 sensitive to 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 can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to boost your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Often

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. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your residence comfy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, San Antonio Air Service Experts has a resolution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 210-570-9705 to schedule yours right away!

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