Why an Energy-Efficient Residence 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 bills affordable. While this is positive for your utility costs, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

As air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can increase and affect your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 disorders or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday substances and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that impact your air quality are normal products. These things have 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, 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In extreme instances, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Regularly 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 Switch Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, remove it and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance 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 as much as possible to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Bob Brown Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 623-243-4517 to book yours now!

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