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

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

As air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can increase and reduce your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your house’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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these routine substances and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that decrease your air quality are normal products. These things contain chemicals known as 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 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 involve:

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

In bad instances, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

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

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be changed, take it out and tilt it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a higher MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare has a solution to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 226-270-1164 to schedule yours today!