Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Impact Air Quality and How to Improve It

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills reasonable. While this is good for your heating and cooling costs, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has decreased chances to escape, pollutants can increase and impact your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your house’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 review some of these everyday contaminants and how you can enhance your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are everyday products. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  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 often used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  5. Furniture, window treatments and carpet, specifically 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

In bad cases, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Boost Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to boost your residence’s air quality. Here are a few ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence 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 house.

2. Frequently Replace Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your home cozy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you install. Flat filters should be changed monthly, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also suggest turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, Komfort Air has a solution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 704-705-8135 to schedule yours now!

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