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

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

Because air has decreased 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 more unhealthy than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s specifically detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.

Let’s go over some of these everyday substances and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you envision pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that decrease your air quality are common substances. These things have 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 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 involve:

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

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

4 Ways to Enhance Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your home’s air quality. Here are several ideas from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your Home Often

Routinely 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. Routinely Change Your Air Filter

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

If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, we recommend installing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at eliminating contaminants.

3. Enhance Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen regularly to remove pollutants and bring in more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Robinson Service Experts has a fix to help your family breathe more easily. We’ll help you choose the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 847-306-8730 to book yours right away!