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

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

Since air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these routine contaminants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that influence your air quality are common products. These things have chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, such as 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, specifically when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other everyday 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 entail:

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

In severe cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to improve your home’s air quality. Here are a couple of ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

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 house.

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your home comfortable and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise having a filter with a higher MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Donelson Air Service Experts has a solution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 615-953-9885 to book yours right away!

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