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

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can build up and impact your residence’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these everyday contaminants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you could 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, 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, particularly 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In extreme cases, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Often

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

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your home comfortable and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, remove it and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we recommend using 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 recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Parker Pearce Service Experts has a resolution to help your household breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 301-476-4577 to request yours today!

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