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

Residences today are constructed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling costs affordable. While this is great for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can increase and affect your residence’s indoor air quality. In fact, 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 especially detrimental for family members with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are common products. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, such as 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 common pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

Some people are more sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In bad 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 boost your home’s air quality. Here are several recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Residence Regularly

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

2. Routinely Switch Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your home comfy and air healthy. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you install. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, take it out and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

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

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also suggest using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a resolution to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 352-414-4006 to schedule yours today!

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