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

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills reasonable. While this is positive for your energy bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can build up and reduce your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these routine pollutants and how you can improve your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are normal substances. These things have chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, including 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 severe cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Often

Regularly cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, such as furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Regularly Replace Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your residence comfy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we suggest using a filter with a higher MERV rating. The higher 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 advise turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Chief/Bauer Service Experts has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 217-689-2469 to schedule yours right away!

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