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

Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This includes added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy bills affordable. While this is positive for your heating and cooling costs, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Since air has decreased chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, your home’s air can actually be 2–5 times worse than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s specifically detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these routine contaminants and how you can enhance your residence’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 lots of substances that decrease your air quality are normal items. These things contain chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, including 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, particularly 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In bad situations, the EPA says VOCs can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to improve your home’s air quality. Here are a few suggestions from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Often

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, such as furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.

2. Regularly Change Your Air Filter

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

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, we recommend using a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater 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 advise running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Orangutan Home Services has a fix to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 602-906-0111 to book yours now!

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