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

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

Because air has reduced chances to escape, contaminants can increase and decrease your house’s indoor air quality. In reality, 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 particularly detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.

Let’s discuss some of these everyday contaminants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Common Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you picture pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that affect your air quality are common items. These things have chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They involve:

  1. Cleaning products, like aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, like 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 common pollutants include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold

Symptoms of VOC Exposure

Some people are more affected by 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 Home’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to enhance your residence’s air quality. Here are several suggestions 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 home.

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This important filter keeps your house comfortable 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 replaced every three months. If you’re unsure if your filter should be swapped, remove it and angle it to the light. Install a new one if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your residence has allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The higher the number this is, the better your filter is at removing contaminants.

3. Improve Natural Ventilation

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

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Boehmers/Cronin Emery Home Services by Enercare has a fix to help your household breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the right option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 519-804-1617 to schedule yours now!