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

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

Since air has decreased chances to escape, chemicals can accumulate and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your house’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 specifically detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

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

6 Routine Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you may think about smog or tobacco smoke. But many substances that decrease your air quality are normal items. These things include chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

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

  • 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 House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t difficult to improve your residence’s air quality. Here are a couple of recommendations from Harvard Medical School:

1. Clean Your House Often

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

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your residence comfy and air clean. How often you should change your air filter depends on the model of filter you install. Flat filters should be swapped monthly, while pleated filters should be changed every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be changed, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, we advise having a filter with a higher MERV rating. The bigger the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also suggest running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to get rid of pollutants and draw in more fresh air.

4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Stark Services has a fix to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the ideal option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 817-668-6689 to book yours now!