Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Impact 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 costs affordable. While this is great for your utility expenses, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can build up and affect your home’s indoor air quality. In fact, your residence’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 especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these common contaminants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are everyday items. These things have chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, including 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 often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly 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 bad situations, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

Regularly cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, such as furniture, carpet and bedding, will help cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.

2. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your residence cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, remove it and angle it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also advise using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Strand Brothers Service Experts has a resolution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 512-596-1257 to schedule yours right away!

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