Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Influence Air Quality and How to Improve It

Houses today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy expenses reasonable. While this is good 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 house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your house’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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these common contaminants and how you can boost your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

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

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, including 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, particularly 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 influenced 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 can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are several suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

Regularly 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 house.

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise choosing 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 moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 330-305-2799 to schedule yours right away!