Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Influence Air Quality and How to Make It Better
Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility expenses down. While this is great for your energy expenses, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.
Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can increase and reduce your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’s air can actually be 2–5 times worse 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 routine pollutants and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.
6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality
When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are normal products. These things have chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
- Personal care products, including hairspray, perfume and nail products.
- Candles and air fresheners.
- Formaldehyde, which is often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
- Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly when they’re brand new.
- Paints and stains.
Other common pollutants include:
- Pet dander
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
In bad situations, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.
4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
It isn’t complicated to boost your home’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School:
1. Clean Your House Regularly
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 home.
2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter
This essential filter keeps your house cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be swapped, remove it and angle it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.
If someone in your house deals with allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.
3. Enhance Natural Ventilation
Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.
4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros
From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has a solution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you select the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to schedule yours today!
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