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

Houses today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility costs down. While this is good for your heating and cooling expenses, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, pollutants can accumulate and decrease your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your home’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 particularly detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these common contaminants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that decrease your air quality are common substances. These things include chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like 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, especially 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 bad instances, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

Routinely 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 home.

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your home cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be swapped every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, take it out and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, R & M Climate Control Service Experts has a fix to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 865-229-6176 to request yours today!

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