Homes today are built with energy efficiency in mind. This involves added insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep heating and cooling expenses affordable. While this is good for your utility costs, it’s not so fantastic for your indoor air quality.
Because air has fewer chances to escape, pollutants can accumulate and affect your residence’s indoor air quality. In fact, your residence’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 especially detrimental for loved ones with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions or heart disease.
Let’s go over some of these routine pollutants and how you can boost your house’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 many substances that influence your air quality are common substances. These things include chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- Cleaning products, such as aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
- Personal care products, such as hairspray, perfume and nail products.
- Candles and air fresheners.
- Formaldehyde, which is commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
- Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly when they’re brand new.
- Paints and stains.
Other typical pollutants include:
- Pet dander
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
In extreme situations, the EPA says VOCs are linked to respiratory and heart diseases.
4 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
It isn’t complicated to improve your house’s air quality. Here are several suggestions from Harvard Medical School:
1. Clean Your Home Frequently
Routinely cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help decrease on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.
2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter
This critical filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the type of filter you have. Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, pull it out and hold it up to the light. Replace it if you can’t see light through it.
If someone in your household has allergies or asthma, we advise 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. Improve Natural Ventilation
Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever the temperature allows. We also recommend using 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 to HEPA filters, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has a fix to help your family breathe more freely. We’ll help you select the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 440-252-1375 to book yours right away!