Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Affect Air Quality and How to Improve It

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility expenses reasonable. While this is great for your energy bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Because air has reduced chances to escape, chemicals can build up and impact 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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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 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 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 involve:

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

In bad situations, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are a few ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Often

Routinely cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Frequently Switch Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your residence cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, 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. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

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

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts has a fix to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 226-773-3357 to book yours right away!

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