Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Influence Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling costs reasonable. While this is good for your energy costs, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Since air has reduced chances to escape, pollutants can increase and impact your house’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your house’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 relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these common pollutants and how you can improve your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that affect your air quality are normal items. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  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 commonly 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 affected 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 can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t hard to enhance your home’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Often

Routinely 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 home.

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, remove it and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, we advise using a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Freschi Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 925-384-1303 to request yours today!

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