Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Enhance It

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

Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can build up and reduce your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 specifically detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these everyday pollutants and how you can improve your residence’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 a lot of substances that influence your air quality are common items. These things contain 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, such as 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, specifically when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other common 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 severe cases, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to enhance your residence’s air quality. Here are a couple of recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Often

Regularly 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 model of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest using a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater 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 it’s warm enough. We also recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Atmostemp Service Experts has a resolution to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 856-310-4824 to book yours now!

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