March 19, 2020

We work hard to keep our homes clean and free of pollutants, but the reality is that we don’t live inside of a bubble. Pollutants from the outside world can easily enter your home and move into your ductwork in addition to the heating and cooling system. Once that happens, the pollution is trapped in a closed loop where it will circulate throughout your home at higher and higher concentrations.

When outdoor pollutants build up inside your home, it can seriously reduce the quality of the air you and your family breathe day in and day out. Poor indoor air quality can cause respiratory issues, allergy flare-ups, and asthma. You may notice that you or other members of your household are suffering from symptoms like sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, shortness of breath, lethargy, and fever.

Fortunately, there are ways you can eliminate the pollutants that have built up in your home to restore its overall air quality. Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating provides effective indoor air quality solutions to homeowners in San Antonio, including high-quality electronic air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators.

Here are five sources of outdoor air pollution that affect your indoor air quality:

1. Pollen

Are you or your family members some of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from allergies? One of the most widespread allergy triggers is pollen: a powder-like substance produced by plants. When the microscopic spores are released into the air, they get into your eyes, nose, and mouth. This leads to symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, headache, and runny nose. Asthma sufferers are also more likely to experience worsened symptoms and a higher frequency of asthma attacks.

Since spores are produced by outdoor plants, you may think that you’re protected from them inside your house. However, spores can easily get into your home by catching a ride on your clothing, shoes, and hair. Even your pets can unintentionally introduce harmful pollen to your home. Once inside, the pollen makes its way into your ductwork, where it’s continuously circulated throughout your home.

This is a recipe for serious indoor allergies. If you’ve noticed an uptick in your or your family’s allergy symptoms, you may have an indoor pollen problem on your hands. Luckily, you can combat this with a few simple maintenance tasks and upgrades to your heating and cooling system. Regularly changing the furnace air filter, having your ductwork cleaned professionally, and installing a whole-home air purification system will all go a long way toward relieving your indoor pollen allergies.

2. Mold

If there’s a single word that can instantly strike dread into the hearts of homeowners, it’s this one: mold. Mold is a living organism that plays a vital role in the natural ecosystem, but it will wreak havoc if it’s introduced to an indoor environment like your home.

Indoor mold is usually caused by high levels of moisture or water damage. If your home has ventilation issues, excessive humidity, or has recently experienced flooding, it’s at risk for developing mold. According to the EPA, your home’s relative humidity should be between 30% and 50% to discourage mold growth.

If mold does get a toehold in your home, there are a few signs you should look for, including dark brown or black spots on the walls. As it spreads, mold releases microscopic spores into the air, which will circulate through your home via the ductwork. Breathing mold spores are dangerous, and the health effects are numerous. Respiratory symptoms of mold exposure include coughing, sneezing, and asthma attacks. Other symptoms include dizziness, exhaustion, fatigue, and digestive distress.

The best way to keep mold out of your home is to prevent it from entering your home in the first place. However, if you do discover mold in your home, a combination of mold remediation service and indoor air quality treatment can restore your home’s safety and breathability.

3. Viruses

The world outside your home’s four walls is rife with viruses and pathogens that, if ingested, will lead to illnesses. Everything from the common cold to measles and chickenpox is transmitted through the air.

These biological pollutants can enter your home in a variety of ways. A sick relative may unwittingly spread the contaminants by coughing or sneezing. Sometimes, they piggy-back on an infected object like a package or a bag of groceries that have come into contact with someone sick. In either case, once the virus enters your home, it’s going to make its way into the heating and cooling system and spread to every room in your house. This can lead to your entire household getting sick, even when taking the necessary precautions like washing hands.

4. Pesticides

Pesticides are agricultural chemicals that we use to kill and control pests. The most common pesticides are used on lawns and farm fields, but pesticides are also used to kill insects, rodents, bacteria, and fungi. Since their purpose is to kill bugs and plants, it’s safe to say that pesticides are toxic and dangerous for humans to be exposed to as well.

While we tend to think of pesticides as something that exists exclusively in farm fields, it’s actually quite common for these chemicals to make their way into people’s homes. In fact, an indoor air quality study by the EPA found that 80% of pesticide exposure occurs inside the home and that the air inside many homes harbors up to a dozen common pesticides.

Outdoor pesticides enter the home in a few different ways. One of the most common vectors is when pesticides used in the backyard are inadvertently brought inside. The average homeowner has a garage stocked full of sprays, liquids, powders, and foggers used to combat the weeds, insects, and other critters in their backyards. However, pesticides can also enter the home via contaminated soil or dust that blows in from the outdoors.

5. Industrial Pollution

Smog is a type of pollution that’s caused by the chemicals emitted from cars and factories. While smog is most common near big cities, it’s able to spread into nearby suburban and rural areas via wind and weather patterns. Don’t mistakenly think that your home is safe from smog just because you don’t live in a big city. Smog is worst during warm-weather months and can lead to serious respiratory issues, fatigue, light-headedness, and chest tightness.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions in San Antonio

The first big step toward reducing the indoor air pollution in your home is educating yourself on what causes indoor air contamination. Once you understand what these pollutants are and how they enter your home, you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed decision about which indoor air solution is right for you.

Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating offers a full lineup of high-quality systems designed to keep your home’s air clean and healthy, including electronic air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, and duct cleaning service. After we treat your home, you should notice a big improvement in terms of allergies, asthma, and other symptoms related to indoor pollution exposure.

Don’t forget that you can also turn to us for heating and cooling repairs, maintenance, and installations. Contact Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating today to learn more about how we can help with your all-around indoor air quality and comfort!

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