If you wish to improve your indoor air quality and energy efficiency at the same time, you may want to follow some basic rules that will do both of these simultaneously.
If you do whatever you can to prevent cold drafts you will limit the amount of airborne allergens entering your home from the outside. By preventing cold drafts, you will be helping your indoor air quality and energy efficiency by limiting the loss of heat in the winter or cool room air in the heat of the summer. At the same time, you are limiting outside irritants as well as toxic particles that may be suspended in the atmosphere around the outside of your home. If you circulate the warm and cool air inside your home, you will not be allowing your rooms to become stuffy and stale as you are preventing odors. You will also be able to control the humidity in your home. By controlling the humidity in your home, you will be able to prevent mold and the need to use a dehumidifier, which can be very costly to run.
You will be far ahead with indoor air quality and energy efficiency if you are able to create a sanctuary inside your home away from airborne microbes that may include anthrax, botulism, small pox, toxic gasses, and radioactive particles that are released by terrorists or by accident.
A simple air leakage test can be the first step towards indoor air quality and energy efficiency. The air leakage test can be done with a fan in and outer doorway. After the fan has been placed in the outer doorway you will find that the amount of air flowing through the fan is equal to the air flowing through any leaks in the shell of the buildings construction.
If you use small cool white smoke puffs during the air leakage test you will be able to identify the areas where insects, dust, mold spores, pollen and any possible cold drafts may be entering your home.
In most new home construction as well as existing buildings there may be gaps, cracks and holes in the outer shell construction that can total as much if not more than 100 to 300 square inches. These holes in the construction of your homes shell are open all the time. If you have a ducted air circulation system in your home it may be creating a significant level of pressure that can drive air through the cracks, crevices, holes and leaks between the interior and exterior.