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

Residences today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This entails more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling costs affordable. While this is positive for your utility costs, it’s not so good for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, pollutants can build up and affect your residence’s indoor air quality. In reality, your residence’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 especially detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory concerns or heart disease.

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

6 Everyday Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality

When you visualize pollutants, you might think about smog or tobacco smoke. But lots of substances that impact your air quality are common substances. These things contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

They entail:

  1. Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
  2. Personal care products, such as 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 affected by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure include:

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

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

4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality

It isn’t complicated to boost your home’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 decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your home.

2. Routinely Replace Your Air Filter

This essential filter keeps your house comfy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you have. Flat filters should be changed each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be changed, pull it out and angle it to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.

If someone in your house deals with allergies or asthma, we recommend choosing a filter with a better MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also advise using exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen as much as possible to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Talk with Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers to HEPA filters, McKinley Heating Service Experts has a resolution to help your household breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Contact us at 780-800-7092 to request yours today!

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