August 30, 2023

Unlike managing your home’s temperature, checking your air quality isn’t as simple as looking at the numbers on a thermostat. Instead, you need to test for a variety of contaminants that can potentially cause discomfort, health problems, or inconvenience. If you want to ensure your air is as clean as possible, you’ll need to consider all these factors.

Mold, Bacteria, and Other Microbes

One of the biggest causes of poor air quality is airborne microbes. There are all sorts of tiny, invisible particles that can float through the air and cause problems. For example, mold can start to grow in your HVAC system, sending mold spores throughout your home and creating mold infestations on your walls and ceilings. Your home’s air can also harbor problematic bacteria and viruses that can cause infections. In some cases, people can have lingering respiratory problems for months without realizing their poor air quality is the cause of their sickness.

The right filtration system makes a huge difference to your indoor air quality. With a proper air filter, it can collect and trap microbes. If you’re having a lot of problems with your air quality, you can also benefit from a thorough HVAC and duct cleaning and the installation of an HVAC sanitization system. Popular options like UV lights kill airborne microbes before they can cause issues.

Dander, Pollen, and Other Allergens

If you have allergies, air quality is especially important. Your HVAC system can play a big role in contributing to the level of allergens you experience inside your home. For people with pollen allergies, the wrong ventilation system can leave them itching, wheezing, and feeling miserable. For those with pet allergies, a poor filter makes it even harder to live with furry friends. Even those without severe allergies can end up feeling a little uncomfortable with high levels of debris in their air.

There are a lot of options for allergens, so the right air quality solution just depends on the severity of your allergy. For people with milder issues, just changing your air filter more frequently can be helpful. Those with stronger allergies may want to redesign their ventilation system or add a powerful whole-house air purifier that can clean air thoroughly.

Combustion Appliances

If you have anything in your home that runs on burnt fuel, air quality is essential. Combustion appliances typically consist of things like gas stoves, gas furnaces, and gas water heaters. However, it can also include things like kerosene heaters or even basic fireplaces. The issue with combustion is that it produces carbon monoxide as a side effect. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, clear gas that can be highly toxic to breathe. Low levels cause headaches, confusion, and memory problems, and high levels may be fatal.

Staying safe from this contaminant requires a few different steps. First, you’ll need proper ventilation installed with all your combustion systems. You’ll also need an HVAC professional to help design your system in a way that ensures your air isn’t accidentally pulling in the air that was just expelled by an exhaust pipe. Finally, you’ll need carbon monoxide detectors that alert you whenever this dangerous pollution is contaminating your indoor air.


There are a lot of indoor air quality issues that can be actively dangerous. However, there are also air quality problems that can be extremely annoying even if they don’t pose an active threat. Odors are one of the largest reasons people try to improve their air quality. Unpleasant smells like cooking fumes and pet odors can make it miserable to spend time in your home.

To tackle unpleasant odors, your air quality expert will usually recommend increased ventilation. Adding more ventilation to your home helps to expel unpleasant scents and pull fresh outdoor air into your home. Depending on the source of the odor, you might also need to clean your HVAC system and remove any smelly buildup.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a broad class of indoor air pollutants that can have a major impact on your health. VOCs come from all sorts of household products and items. Every time you use cleaning supplies, operate an office printer, or spritz an air freshener, you release VOCs into the air. VOCs also produce “off-gas” from a variety of household items like furniture, rugs, paint, and even your walls. VOCs can cause respiratory irritation at high levels, and they’re also linked to increased rates of cancer and organ damage.

VOCs can certainly become scary since they come from so many sources. However, keeping them from harming your air quality is simple. Even in very busy urban environments, VOCs outside the home are 10 times lower than VOC levels indoors. Simply increasing your HVAC’s ventilation ability can keep VOCs at safe levels.

Humidity Levels

Humidity impacts your air quality in two different ways. First, humidity can directly harm the quality of your air. If you have abnormal humidity levels, your air will automatically feel less pleasant. You might notice your home’s air feels sticky all the time, or it might feel unpleasantly dry as you breathe it in. Humidity also causes problems by contributing to other air quality issues. At high levels, humidity encourages mold and mildew growth. Damp air can also trap more odor particles and cause contaminants to linger in the home.

Fortunately, humidity is an easy air quality issue to address. Many thermostats measure humidity levels for you, and you can take steps to address it if it goes below 30% or above 60%. Some homeowners find that even a small humidifier or dehumidifier makes a noticeable difference. You can also install a whole-house system if you prefer a more drastic change.

Exterior Pollution

Don’t forget that things happening outside your home can also harm your air quality. If your home is built in certain areas, radon can leak out of the ground and taint your air. Living near a busy road, running lawn equipment outside, and applying pesticides to your garden can all end up damaging your indoor air quality. The issue is that these pollutants are easily trapped in enclosed spaces. So, if some get into your house, they cause problems instead of dispersing as they do outside.

Addressing exterior pollution tends to depend on the source of your pollution. Sometimes you might need to seal your home to keep radon and other gasses out. Sometimes you might need to add additional filtration or ventilation to key areas. Exterior pollution comes in a variety of styles, so you’ll need a customized solution for your home.

As you can see, a lot of different factors go into improving air quality. Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating makes it a lot easier to get clean, fresh air. Our team can test your home’s air quality and help you install solutions like UV filters and ventilation. We also help with a variety of other HVAC repairs, installations, and maintenance. To learn more about our San Antonio HVAC services, contact Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating now.

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