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

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills down. While this is positive for your heating and cooling costs, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, pollutants can build up and decrease your home’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that affect your air quality are normal items. These things contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  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, particularly 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 are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

Routinely cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your residence comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you use. Flat filters should be swapped each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, remove it and hold it up to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your house has allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a better MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Becht/Givens Service Experts has a solution to help your household breathe more easily. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 502-785-8230 to request yours now!

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