Why an Energy-Efficient Residence Can Impact Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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

Because air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can build up and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that decrease your air quality are everyday substances. These things have chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, including 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to enhance your home’s air quality. Here are a couple of ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Regularly

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 residence.

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your residence comfortable and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be swapped, take it out and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, we advise using a filter with a greater 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 circulating by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also advise using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Wesley Wood Service Experts has a resolution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 484-401-7577 to book yours today!

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