Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Influence Air Quality and How to Make It Better

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 heating and cooling costs, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can increase and reduce your home’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

  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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

In extreme instances, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Residence Often

Frequently 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 residence.

2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your residence comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest having a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance 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 bring in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Comfort Masters Service Experts has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 847-250-6729 to book yours now!

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