Tips To Improve Indoor Air Quality Without Sacrificing Energy Efficiency

Every year, illnesses caused by household air pollution from incomplete combustion of fuels used for cooking, like kerosene and biomass, claim the lives of 3.2 million people, according to The World Health Organization. Many people believe that indoor air quality in homes is cleaner than outdoor air, and preventing outside air from seeping into living spaces can help reduce pollution. Unfortunately, these assumptions aren’t true because indoor air is highly polluted and poor ventilation increases pollutants and energy consumption.

how to improve indoor air quality

Typically, moving to a well-designed energy efficient building helps you manage a home’s indoor air quality effortlessly. However, there are several ways to reduce the impact of indoor air pollution even if your home doesn’t feature energy-efficient designs. Below are the best tips to improve indoor air quality without sacrificing energy efficiency.

Use Natural Ventilation Strategies

Natural ventilation strategies rely on wind and buoyancy to enhance air circulation and cool buildings. For example, opening a window at night during summer is an easy way to let fresh air in your home. The cool air then pushes pollutants outside and creates a cooling effect inside the building without artificial cooling equipment.

Other effective natural ventilation strategies include the chimney effect and allowing the cooling sea breeze to ventilate homes through large, operable windows facing the ocean. The chimney effect uses convention, where cool air enters the home in the basement or first floor, absorbs hot air, rises and escapes through upper floor windows.

Add Indoor Plants

Findings from a study on the impact of indoor plants on air quality published in the Air Quality Atmosphere and Health Journal reveal that plants can reduce nitrogen dioxide, a common pollutant, by up to 20%. Since plants absorb pollutants and release oxygen, they are a perfect option for purifying indoor air. Plants also increase humidity and reduce dust levels, thus improving indoor air quality.

Ways to Learn More About Plants

Popular plants that people add to their living spaces, like the pothos plant, peace lily, English ivy, and bamboo palm plants, are effective in improving indoor air quality. However, you can add to your indoor plant collection house plants with fuzzy leaves, such as the green goddess, pussy willow, chenille plant, lamb’s ears, and old man cactus.

The leaves of these indoor plants have tiny hairs on the surface that give them a velvety texture. Besides adding character to your space while improving air quality, these plants are low maintenance. That’s because the tiny hairs also help plants draw moisture from the air, so they can survive on regular spritzes of clean water.

Replace Filters in AC Systems Regularly

Your AC filters play a significant role in trapping pet dander, pollen, dust, and spores to keep indoor air clean. But as dust and other pollutants accumulate on air filters, your AC stops circulating clean air in your home, thus increasing pollution. When air filters are dirty, your AC works harder and consumes a lot of energy. With this in mind, changing your air filters regularly helps enhance air quality and keep your AC system working efficiently.

clogged filter of AC

Contrary to popular belief, indoor air isn’t cleaner or healthier than the air outside. Also, allowing fresh air from outdoors to infiltrate your house doesn’t push energy bills up. With this in mind, using natural ventilation strategies is one of the best ways to improve indoor air quality without sacrificing energy efficiency. Other practices for improving your home’s air quality include adding house plants and changing AC air filters regularly.

The Benefits of Green Building

Each year, we see the effects of global warming drastically increase. The World Meteorological Organization reported that in the last 50 years, the number of climate-change-driven weather calamities increased by five. With this information coming to light, we must act now to prevent these disasters from worsening.

One simple step is to integrate sustainable practices into your establishment. While this may seem like an expensive proposition at first glance, did you know that going green also benefits your bottom line?

In this article, you’ll see a few benefits of green buildings:

advantages of green buildings

1. Healthier Environment

Unsurprisingly, we spend a large portion of our time indoors when working in an office. In these cases, you may experience exposure to several air pollutants, such as mold, volatile organic compounds from air fresheners, and even secondhand smoke from cigarettes. Regular contact with these air pollutants poses a significant health concern leading to decreased performance and absenteeism.

Introducing steps to improve indoor air quality to combat these health risks is essential. One source of air pollutants is mold growth due to moisture build-up in areas such as behind walls. One of the ways you can reduce mold growth in these areas is to have gasketed access doors like those from Elmdor Access Doors and Panels.

Harvard also studied how effective green buildings are at improving cognitive functions. The result was that workers had a 61 percent higher performance when in green building conditions. You can trust that you and your officemates will make more intelligent decisions when breathing cleaner air.

Economic Benefits

You may have seen the words “LEED certification” thrown around the industry in the past few years. For a bit of context, LEED Certification is one of the best frameworks to follow if you want an environmentally conscious building. Compared to traditional buildings, LEED Certified buildings are proven to use less energy, less water, and lower overall operational costs. Lower operating expenses and utility bills ensure you can focus on growing your business to become a leader in the industry.

With lower maintenance costs and massive health benefits, you could enjoy a 6.6% increase in property asset valuation by going green. Additionally, laws have been getting stricter over the past years as we get closer to the 2030 sustainable development goal. Slowly introducing eco-friendly features to your building today can save thousands in fines and expensive overhauls in the future.

Better Infrastructure

With concrete being our primary building material of choice, it’s no surprise that the market for one of the most versatile construction materials has also grown. This demand comes at the cost of our environment, though, as cement is the third-highest producer of carbon dioxide. Because of this, you need to start thinking of ways to incorporate sustainability in your next construction project.


What if there was some way to use other materials in concrete? You’ll be glad to know that some companies have already begun offering such products. From using Fly Ash (found in coal-fired powerplants) to capturing the carbon dioxide from the air directly, it’ll be easy to find low-carbon concrete for you to use.

You’ll be glad to know that it won’t just be the environment that’ll benefit from using low-carbon concrete. For example, concrete that utilizes fly ash in its mixture has high compressive strength and better sulfate resistance. You aren’t just using concrete that can bear heavier loads; you’re also set to enjoy it for longer than traditional Portland cement.

It Takes All Of Us

Hopefully, these points have convinced you of the potential benefits of having a sustainable building. Clean air and clear skies don’t need to only exist in far-away lands. You can also enjoy them in your city as soon as we have done our part in having an eco-friendly society.

We get the better living environment we want through concerted and unified efforts towards this goal, and it all starts with your choice in taking the first step.