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

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

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your house’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 concerns or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday pollutants and how you can improve your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Influence Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that decrease your air quality are common items. These things contain chemicals referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  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 common 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 involve:

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

In severe instances, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Frequently

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 critical filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the style of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be replaced every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be swapped, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence suffers from allergies or asthma, we suggest choosing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Knochelmann Service Experts has a solution to help your family breathe better. We’ll help you select the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 859-905-0834 to book yours now!

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