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

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

Because air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and decrease your house’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 family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that decrease your air quality are normal products. These things include chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  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, specifically when they’re brand new.
  6. Paints and stains.

Other everyday 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 include:

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

In severe cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This critical filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. 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 replaced, pull 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 suggest using a filter with a greater MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Coastal Service Experts has a solution to help your loved ones breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 912-208-2399 to schedule yours today!

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