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

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can build up and reduce your home’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 relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these everyday substances and how you can improve your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that impact your air quality are normal items. These things include chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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, 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

In bad instances, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Frequently 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. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your home cozy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, take 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 home suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a better 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 weather allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to get rid of pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 215-278-9690 to schedule yours today!

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