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

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy expenses down. While this is good for your utility bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

As air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and decrease your home’s indoor air quality. In actuality, 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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday substances and how you can improve your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that affect your air quality are normal items. These things have chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, including 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 frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In extreme situations, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to improve your home’s air quality. Here are a few recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Frequently

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

2. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed every month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, take it out and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Peitz Service Experts has a fix to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 605-223-0307 to request yours right away!

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