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

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

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

Let’s go over some of these common substances and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that decrease your air quality are common items. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

    1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
    1. Personal care products, including hairspray, perfume and nail products.
    1. Candles and air fresheners.
    1. Formaldehyde, which is frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
    1. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly when they’re brand new.
    1. 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 bad cases, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

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. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your house comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure 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 home deals with allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Norrell Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 205-267-0023 to book yours now!

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