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

Homes today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility expenses affordable. While this is good for your energy expenses, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.

Because air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and impact your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

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

They include:

  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 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In extreme instances, 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 improve your house’s air quality. Here are a few suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Regularly

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 home.

2. Regularly Replace Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your residence cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed every month, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, take it out and tilt it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, we advise choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Sunbeam Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 716-427-6807 to book yours now!

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