As Sarasota’s HVAC service experts, Baker & Sons Air Conditioning is passionate about installing the best in high-tech HVAC systems, and providing you and your family with clean, comfortable air. However, clean air isn’t just a matter of comfort—it’s imperative to your health.

If you’re experiencing unexpected allergies, intense asthma symptoms, or other health problems that don’t seem to have an identifiable cause, it’s possible that poor indoor air quality could be causing or adding to your issues.

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the most infamous causes of poor indoor air quality, how to identify them, and what to do to get them to move out of your house for good.

What is causing poor indoor air quality?

There are a number of factors that can lead to poor indoor air quality—some of which are under your control, and some of which are are not. To reduce the risk of health problems, it’s important to be able to identify the causes of poor indoor air quality in order to eliminate them from your home.  

Indoor Pollutants

Environmental pollutants that already exist within your home are often the leading cause of poor indoor air quality because they are repeatedly circulated through your ventilation system. Dust, dead skin cells, paint chips, smoke and ash from the fireplace, and residue from household cleaning supplies can soil the quality of your indoor air, especially if these pollutants build up over time.   

Unfortunately, even your adorable, furry friends can lead to problems with your indoor air quality. Dogs, cats, and even pet rodents like hamsters and gerbils will shed hair and dander into the air, causing a number of health issues for their human owners. Plus, dogs are like mops for dust, debris, and pollen, dragging additional pollutants into your home when they return from walks.

Ultimately, your cleanliness will be a huge factor in the quality of the air in your home. If you allow dust, pollen, and animal dander to build up on surfaces in your home (or in your air ducts), you’re at a much higher risk to experience health problems caused by poor air quality.

Microorganisms

The fungus is among us, and it could be causing problems with the indoor air quality of your home. In poorly ventilated or dark, damp areas, highly allergenic mold and mildew like Aspergillus (the most common household mold), cladosporium, and stachybotrys atra (also know as black mold) can build up over time, causing severe allergies and respiratory problems.

Dust mites are another common cause of poor indoor air quality, nesting themselves into mattresses, couches, bedding, and carpet, and feasting upon the skin flakes of humans and pets alike. Known as the microscopic relatives of the spider, dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments, and are a leading cause of allergies, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and coughing. In more severe cases, dust mites act as a trigger for asthma symptoms, leading to chest pain and tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

It’s nearly impossible to completely eradicate dust mites from your home, but there are many ways to remove the majority of dust mites and relieve some of your allergy symptoms. First, using a dehumidifier to bring your home’s humidity below 50 percent will make your home uninviting for dust mites who thrive in a humid environment. Additionally, washing your bedding in hot water (at least 130 to 140 degrees) once per week will kill dust mites before they can reproduce. Finally, using a vacuum with a microfilter bag or HEPA filter will ensure that your dust mites are removed from your carpets and rugs, and not left to live inside your vacuum cleaner.

Outside Contaminants

In more highly populated areas, outside contaminants can enter into the home through air conditioners, open windows, and cracks and seams in doors and windows, causing health problems as well as environmental issues. Contaminants from car exhaust on high traffic roads, natural gas vents, flues, and sanitary stacks all contribute to air quality issues—and in homes where ventilation is poor, these contaminants can move in permanently.  

Keeping your windows closed during rush hour and purchasing a HEPA air purifiers are just a few ways to improve the quality of your indoor air and keep the outside contaminants at bay. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to completely remove the toxins of the outside world from your indoor space.

Poor HVAC System Maintenance

When HVAC systems and air ducts are working at their very best, they dehumidify, circulate, and condition the air. But if your HVAC unit and air ducts haven’t seen maintenace in over a year, they could be harboring allergenic dust, mold, and other pollutants that will compromise your health. Plus, an HVAC system that doesn’t receive regular maintenance must work harder to do its job, meaning your bank account will take a hit in the form of higher energy bills.

That’s where Baker & Sons Air Conditioning can help. Providing HVAC service in Sarasota and the surrounding areas since 1987, Baker & Sons can provide several indoor air quality improvement services, including air sterilization, duct testing, cleaning, and repair, HEPA filter and ERV installation, and regular maintenance of your HVAC units and systems.

The EPA reports that indoor air quality can be 4-5 times more polluted than outdoor air—so having your HVAC system regularly maintenanced should be the highest priority for the health of you and your family. Don’t wait—book your appointment today!