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Clearing The Air

Understanding Indoor Contaminants

Did you know that the air you breathe indoors can profoundly impact your health? Poor indoor air quality isn’t just uncomfortable. It can lead to a myriad of health issues.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. In some cases, indoor contamination levels can be up to 100 times higher than outdoor levels.

What causes indoor air contamination?

Indoor air contamination can be caused by high humidity, water damage, poor cleaning practices, building materials such as drywall, outdoor and indoor allergens, poor ventilation and outdoor impurities that infiltrate indoor spaces.

How does mold enter your home?

Airborne Spores

Tiny mold spores can travel through doors, windows, vents and on clothing, shoes pets or outdoor equipment.

HVAC Systems

Mold infiltrates HVAC systems via outdoor air intakes, poorly maintained ducts or contaminated filters, spreading throughout the building.

Water Intrusion

Leaks, floods or high humidity levels from various sources like roof leaks, plumbing issues or condensation create ideal conditions for mold growth.

Building Materials

Wet or damp, moisture-absorbing materials like drywall and wood can become breeding grounds for mold if they are not dried properly.

Exterior Factors

Landscaping, drainage and vegetation near the building can impact moisture levels, fostering mold growth if not managed.

Construction Defects

Improper sealing, insulation or ventilation design can lead to moisture accumulation and hidden areas for mold to thrive.

Human Activities

Cooking, bathing and indoor drying generate moisture, while poor ventilation exacerbates humidity and mold growth.

Indoor Plants

Plants release moisture into the air, contributing to humidity levels. Overwatering or poorly drained containers can worsen the problem.
contaminated indoor air symptoms

What are symptoms of contaminated indoor air?

Your indoor environment should be a sanctuary, but contaminated air can compromise your health and comfort. Recognizing the symptoms of poor indoor air quality is the first step toward creating a safer and healthier home or workplace. Below are some common signs that may indicate you’re breathing in harmful contaminations.

Effects of High Mold Levels

  • Respiratory Symptoms
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Skin Irritation
  • Sinus Infections
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Exacerbation of Asthma
  • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
  • Toxic Effects
  • Fungal Infections
  • Bronchitis & Pneumonia
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Aspergillosis
  • Neurological issues
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Immune Dysfunction
  • Mycotoxicosis
  • Organ Damage
  • Death

Dangers of Dust Mites

  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Ear Infections

The hidden truth about…

UV Lights

Some individuals, including certain AC salesmen, often promote UV lights as a one-size-fits-all solution to poor indoor air quality. This misleading portrayal frequently results in false expectations and a hefty financial investment. 

In Texas, regulations prohibit salesmen, including those in the AC industry, from discussing mold-related topics without proper licensing and expertise. These laws aim to prevent misinformation and deceptive practices. UV lights serve as a prime example of why such regulations are necessary. 

One common question is whether UV lights effectively kill microorganisms. The short answer is yes. However, the extent of their effectiveness, especially against mold and other harmful microorganisms, is often exaggerated in marketing and sales tactics. The time required for UV lights to eliminate mold spores varies on factors like light intensity and distance. Even under ideal conditions, UV lights may only affect surfaces directly exposed to the light rather than killing airborne contaminants. 

Given these limitations, UV lights have minimal impact on indoor air quality. While they may sterilize the duct’s surface where they are installed, they are ineffective against particulates that pass through the light quickly. Investing in scientifically proven methods may significantly improve indoor air quality while avoiding unnecessary expenses.

MERV Rated AC Filters

MERV, or “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values”, serve as a standardized measurement system used to assess air filter effectiveness in capturing airborne particles. Ratings typically range from 1 to 16, with higher ratings indicating better filtration efficiency. 

Unlike UV lights, MERV-rated AC filters offer substantial benefits for enhancing indoor air quality. However, they also come with certain drawbacks. While these filters effectively trap airborne particles, they do not actively eliminate microorganisms. Instead, they contain them within the filter while negative pressure is applied. 

Like most AC systems, the AC unit itself eventually reaches the owner’s desired temperature and turns off. When the unit turns off, the MERV filter, which is under negative pressure, eventually reaches normal atmospheric pressure and can release the trapped contaminants back into the air. Similarly, In some HVAC systems, particularly older and poorly designed ones, gaps or leaks around the filter edges may allow unfiltered air to bypass the filter, compromising its effectiveness.

Another issue with MERV filters is buildup. As with any AC filter, moisture and duct accumulation over time can impede airflow, reducing filter efficiency. When airflow becomes restricted, especially in humid environments, mold growth may occur. This is one of the many reasons why air filters need to be changed on a regular basis.

Furthermore, MERV-rated filters are more costly than non-MERV-rated filters and improper installation or use can restrict airflow further, leading to strain on the system’s components and additional costly repairs, running from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Why is it important to have good indoor air quality?


Poor indoor air quality is associated with various health issues, including respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies and infections. Exposure to indoor contaminants such as mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter can worsen existing health problems and raise the risk of developing new ones.


Good indoor air quality is essential for creating a comfortable indoor environment. Proper ventilation plays a key role in regulating temperature and humidity levels and reducing odors and contaminations, preventing discomfort associated with external weather conditions like excessive heat and cold and air borne irritants.


Did you know that your struggle to concentrate might be linked to the quality of the air you breathe? Studies show that poor indoor air quality can impair cognitive function, leading to decreased concentration, diminished alertness and mental fatigue. By addressing air quality concerns, you can unlock your full potential and experience a noticeable improvement in your productivity levels at work, home or school.


Exposure to a diverse range of microbes is essential for the development and maintenance of a healthy immune system. However, excessive exposure to harmful pathogens can overwhelm the immune system and increase the risk of illness. Prioritizing indoor air quality and taking proactive measures is critical in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

Prevention of Building-Related Illnesses

Poor indoor air quality can contribute to building-related illnesses, such as sick building syndrome (SBS) and building-related illness (BRI). These conditions can cause headaches, fatigue, respiratory problems, and skin irritation.

Environmental Impact

Indoor air quality can also affect outdoor air quality and the environment as a whole. If not properly managed, indoor contaminants released into the air, such as VOCs and ozone-depleting substances, can contribute to air contamination and environmental degradation.

Regulatory Compliance

Many countries have regulations and standards to ensure indoor air quality meets acceptable levels. For businesses in the US, OSHA requires compliance with these regulations and is crucial for protecting the health and safety of occupants in various environments and avoiding legal consequences.
quality air treatments

Ready to take charge of your health and well-being?

Reach out today and discover how Air Quality Treaters can help you breathe easier and live better. Don’t let contaminants hold you back. Your path to healthier living awaits.
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