Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Decrease Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Residences today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This includes extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling bills down. While this is positive for your utility bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, pollutants can build up and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your residence’s air can actually be 2–5 times more unhealthy than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these routine pollutants and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that impact your air quality are common substances. These things contain chemicals called 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 frequently used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

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

2. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your house comfy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re not sure if your filter should be replaced, take it out and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your house has allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance 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 as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Rolf Griffin Service Experts has a fix to help your loved ones breathe better. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 260-557-1275 to schedule yours now!

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