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

Residences today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes added 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 great for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and reduce your home’s indoor air quality. In fact, your residence’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 particularly detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these common substances and how you can boost your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are everyday products. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like 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 often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other typical 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 extreme situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to boost your house’s air quality. Here are a few ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Often

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. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your residence comfy and air fresh. 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 changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be replaced, take it out and angle it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, we suggest using a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger 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 it’s warm enough. We also suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to get rid of pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Falso Service Experts has a solution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 315-313-6531 to schedule yours right away!

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