Your Home: How Is The Air In There?

It seems that modern New Zealand homes are built with one word in mind: airtight. This quality is seen as a prime consideration in enhancing the energy efficiency of new builds. In the homes where we supply and install our heat pumps, this means we see more insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows. While this is all very good for keeping energy costs low, it also means a decrease in indoor air quality.

This happens because air has fewer chances to escape, meaning pollutants build up and adversely affect the quality of the air in the home. According to research done by the Environment Protection Agency in the United States, a home’s air can actually be two to five times more unhealthy than the outdoors! That’s not good for anyone living within that space, and it’s even worse for those with cardiovascular conditions and respiratory disorders like asthma.

Pollutants aren’t just things like smog or tobacco smoke. There are plenty of other substances that affect air quality and many of them are normal products we all use in our homes every day. The problem is, these products contain chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. They include:

  • Cleaning products e.g. aerosols, bleach and window cleaner.
  • Personal care products e.g. perfume, hairspray, and nail products.
  • Air fresheners and candles.
  • Formaldehyde, which is often found in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
  • Furniture, window treatments and carpet, especially when brand new.
  • Paints and stains.

And then there are other pollutants including dust, pet dander, pollen, and mould. The symptoms of exposure to all these things include irritated eyes, nose or throat, headaches, fatigue and dizziness. In extreme cases, VOCs can even lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

It’s not all bad news if you live in a modern home. There are things you can do to lift the standard of your  indoor air quality. A simple thing like cleaning your home and frequently washing surfaces that attract allergens, such as furniture, carpet and bedding, will help to cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your house. You can enhance natural ventilation too by opening doors and windows to keep fresh air moving through the home. If you have exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen, turn them on regularly to remove pollutants and introduce more fresh air.

Finally, you can contact us and ask about our heat pumps. The filter technology in our latest generation heat pumps is brilliant at purifying the air and raising the standard of your indoor air quality. By keeping filters clean and booking us in for a regular service, our heat pumps will clean the air and make life in your home much more comfortable, and a great deal healthier.

Suppliers to |