Why an Energy-Efficient Home Can Affect Air Quality and How to Enhance It

Houses today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling costs affordable. While this is positive for your heating and cooling bill, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.

Because air has fewer chances to escape, contaminants can accumulate and impact your residence’s indoor air quality. In actuality, your home’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 discuss some of these routine pollutants and how you can boost your residence’s indoor air quality.

6 Everyday Pollutants that Impact Indoor Air Quality

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

They involve:

  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 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 lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Residence’s Indoor Air Quality

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

1. Clean Your Home Often

Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, such as furniture, carpet and bedding, will help reduce on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house.

2. Frequently Change Your Air Filter

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

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

3. Maximize Natural Ventilation

Keep fresh air moving by opening windows whenever the weather allows. We also recommend turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen frequently to eliminate pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

4. Call Our Indoor Air Quality Pros

From whole-home air purifiers, Rob's Albertan Service Experts has a solution to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you choose the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Give us a call at 780-800-9047 to book yours today!

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