Why an Energy-Efficient House Can Impact Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep utility expenses down. While this is great for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, chemicals can increase and impact your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s review some of these routine pollutants and how you can boost your home’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are everyday items. 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 commonly 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 influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

In extreme 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 boost your residence’s air quality. Here are a couple of ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Regularly

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

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This crucial filter keeps your residence cozy and air healthy. 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 replaced, take it out and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your home deals with allergies or asthma, we suggest installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Finch Air Conditioning & Heating has a solution to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 281-407-9478 to request yours right away!