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

Houses today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added 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 great for your indoor air quality.

Since air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can increase and impact your home’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your house’s air can actually be 2–5 times more unhealthy than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday contaminants and how you can boost your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that influence your air quality are everyday substances. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They include:

  1. Cleaning products, such as 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, 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 sensitive to VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:

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

In bad cases, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your House Often

Regularly cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, like furniture, carpet and bedding, will help reduce on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house comfortable and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed every month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, remove it and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, we suggest 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. Enhance Natural Ventilation

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

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Church Services has a fix to help your household breathe better. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 713-396-3760 to book yours today!