Improving Office Productivity Through Indoor Air Quality

According to a 2015 study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Syracuse University, poor indoor air quality is linked to poor productivity in the workplace.

3 Things About IAQ Every Pet Lover Should Know

Many people in San Francisco consider their pets, whether cat, dog, bird, or a more exotic species, as a part of their family. We know to feed, water, and groom our pets, but it is also crucial for pet owners to understand how having a pet can affect your home’s air quality. Pets are a fantastic way to improve both your mental and physical health, but when caring for pets, it’s wise to be mindful of the quality of your indoor air.

Many pets, especially mammalian pets, such as cats and dogs produce what is called dander. Dander is a term for very small particles of skin that fall from your pet’s skin and coat. Many people assume that pet hair is the trigger or most animal allergies, when it fact, dander is more often the culprit. To effectively keep dander and other pet debris to a minimum, we’ve offered up a few tips. The biggest issue with pet dander is making sure that it never gets out of control in the first place. Follow these simple tips to prevent pet dander buildup and improve the IAQ in your pet friendly home.

IAQ for Pet Friendly Homes

  • Bathe and/or groom your pets as recommended by your veterinarian. Clean and healthy pets will produce less dander than pets who are not groomed regularly. If not properly groomed, excess dander could form on your pet and be distributed around your home. Brush your pet regularly to remove dander and keep their coat healthy and be sure to provide them with high quality food and plenty of fresh water. This will help ensure that your pet is properly hydrated, and this will keep their skin soft and less apt to producing dander
  • Get regular maintenance on your home’s HVAC system. Not only will this keep your HVAC system running smoothly, it is also essential for maintaining excellent air quality. And, for homes with pets, maintenance is even more fundamental, since pet hair and dander can collect not only within your air filter, but also in other areas. A professionally trained technician can spot any issues, whether performing routine maintenance or beyond, before anything grows into a more serious problem.
  • Speaking of filters, be sure to clean or change your HVAC system’s air filter every month or two, or according to the manufacturer’s directions. Since air filters vary on size and function, depending on what type of filter you have, it could need changed less or more often than monthly. The simplest advice is to check your filter often and change or clean it whenever it appears dirty. If you are using a basic air filter, consider upgrading to a HEPA filter or a filter that can help capture pet dander and debris.  
  • Another way to ensure excellent air quality is to consider an air purifier for your home.  Pet dander, dust, and other debris can accumulate in your home’s ductwork and an air purifier can truly help!

Give us a call today to learn more about improving your home’s Indoor Air Quality, whether with HVAC services, UV Lamps, Humidifiers or Ventilators, we can help! Phone: (415) 522-0966

The Importance of Home Comfort for Everyone in Your Family


Home is much more than just a shelter, it is also a place where we can feel secure and comfortable. We spend so much time in our homes that home comfort becomes more than just a luxury, but a necessity. Your indoor environment is an important part of creating a comfortable home environment for everyone in your family. Maintaining optimal temperatures and indoor air quality allows you to provide a home environment that is not only comfortable but also healthy.

Why Home Comfort is Essential

There are 3 basic factors that contribute to home comfort – temperature control, humidity, and air quality. Temperature regulation is not only important for comfort. It can also impact health. Living in conditions that are too cold or too warm can cause health issues for those with weakened immune systems, such as newborns, infants, and elderly individuals.

Humidity can also impact both comfort and health. When your home environment is too dry, it may make it difficult to breathe and cause health issues such as dry skin. When humidity levels are too high, this increases moisture levels, which can also cause breathing difficulties. Large amounts of moisture can invite mold and mildew into the home, which causes a variety of health issues including serious respiratory problems.

Indoor air quality is also an important factor that impacts home comfort. Pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants from the outdoors enter your home as people leave and return. These pollutants can impact respiratory health, triggering asthma symptoms and asthma attacks. In extreme circumstances, this may even cause allergies or asthma in those who have not experienced it before.

Tips for Maintaining Home Comfort

There is no magic recipe for ideal home comfort. Comfort levels depend on personal preferences. However, there are some general elements that need to be monitored to keep your home environment safe and healthy. Here are some tips for helping maintain a comfortable home environment for you and your family:

  • Make sure that your home temperatures are kept at a comfortable and healthy level. Using a programmable or smart thermostat can help you maintain temperatures throughout the year.
  • Monitor humidity levels within your home. Research shows that the best humidity levels for health and safety are between 40-60%. If you find that humidity levels fall below or rise above this humidity level, consider implementing HVAC add-ons like dehumidifiers or humidifiers.
  • Take measures to reduce pollutants and improve indoor air quality. One of the best ways to do this is by changing or replacing your air filters regularly so that they can continue to keep allergens and pollutants from dispersing in your home. It is also vital to keep your home clean, especially carpets, curtains, and furniture which can trap pollutants.

Maintaining a comfortable home environment is vital to keeping your family healthy and happy. If you need advice on how to maintain home comfort or improve indoor air quality, contact us today.

Ductless Heating & Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless HVAC systems are nothing new. Ductless heat pumps have been a ubiquitous feature on apartment windows for decades. What is new is using them for whole house heating and the technology involved with that. Using a ductless system for your home provides several benefits over a traditional forced-air system.

Going Ductless

Homeowners have long been frustrated with the performance of forced-air HVAC systems. The uneven cooling, high operational costs, and air quality issues have caused much dissatisfaction. A ductless system can alleviate all these issues.

Even Heating & Cooling

A ductless system will work with an individual thermostat for each heat pump or a thermostat located within a ‘zone’ of your home. This allows you to individualize the temperature for each area, or only heat or cool that area as needed. New technology on some systems also lets you control the individual heat pumps and zones with ease via your smartphone.

Money Saving

The ability to finely control the heating and cooling of different zones, or rooms within your home can greatly reduce your energy consumption. A typical home will have an energy bill of which half is directly attributable to heating and cooling costs. If you can run individual parts of the system as needed, it negates the forced-air drawback of whole-house heating and cooling. If you couple that with the extremely efficient nature of heat pumps the savings can be drastic with the right setup.

Improved Air Quality

Indoor air pollution is a much larger issue than people tend to realize. A traditional forced-air system does very little to improve the air quality in the home. In fact in can aggravate the condition further by blowing dust, allergens, and pollutants around the home as soon as it switches on. A ductless system can greatly improve the air quality through multi-stage filtration and having multiple points of filtration. Each room or zone can have it’s own heat pump filtering the air as opposed to having one or two air returns in a home to cover the whole house.

A ductless system can be a great way to heat and cool a home but it’s not necessary for every home. A well-designed traditional forced-air system can function very well for a home depending on the needs and usage patterns. If you’re unsure of what system is best for you, give us at Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning a call today to discuss your options!

These are the Most Common Indoor Air Contaminates

These are the Most Common Indoor Air Contaminates

Feeling Sick? Allergies kick you in the rear end? Fatigued? All of these can be relate to the Air inside your Home. Call us and we will trouble shoot your HVAC system and make sure the air you’re breathing is Healthy for you. We service San Francisco, Daly City and Pacifica. Call us today, don’t wait any longer!

Debunking Indoor Air Quality Myths


It is vital to optimize indoor air quality when operating any heating, cooling or ventilation system. Home and business owners can only accomplish this when they abandon popular IAQ myths.

1. Misconception: Air only becomes seriously polluted outdoors. Truth: It is not uncommon for indoor air to contain more than nine times as many contaminants as outdoor environments.

2. Falsehood: Ozone makes humans healthier. Reality: While it is true that ozone combats some types of bacteria and unwanted chemicals, things that produce ozone also generate unhealthy pollutants.

3. Untruth: A permanently installed gas detector will not significantly improve safety. Actuality: When properly maintained and calibrated, this type of detector truly can alert people to the presence of harmful gases.

4. Misconception: Every gas detector contains the same exact components. Truth: Different models use varying methods to detect gas. It is vital to thoroughly research and compare them.

5. Falsehood: The sensors on these detectors never need replacement. Reality: Sensor lifespans vary by manufacturer and the kinds of gases that they detect. Some last only 12 months; others need replacement after a decade.

6. Untruth: It does not matter where the detector is located. Actuality: People should install gas detectors near potential gas leak sources. Avoid placing them near open windows or vents.

7. Misconception: Detectors consume energy, so they raise power bills. Truth: A gas detector can actually cut electricity usage by controlling ventilation fans. It will only activate them when they are needed.

8. Falsehood: Indoor air quality is not a serious concern. Reality: People often stay indoors for as many as 22 out of 24 hours, so this is the most important type of air quality.

9. Untruth: Eco-friendly buildings benefit the environment but cannot make people healthier. Actuality: Green indoor materials enhance IAQ by releasing fewer gases as they age.

10. Misconception: Indoor air quality improvements remain very hard to achieve. Truth: Although they may prove costly, IAQ enhancements are quite possible with the help of skilled technicians.

By casting aside these IAQ myths and taking steps to improve air quality, building owners can prevent a wide range of health problems.

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Indoor Air Quality Creates A Better Environment For Employees And Customers

No matter what you may think, cutting your HVAC budget is not conducive to your business environment. The age of your system can directly affect your indoor air quality, which in essence, can affect the comfort of your employees, your customers and ultimately your bottom line.

Poor commercial indoor air quality can stem from a variety of factors. These include, excessively dry or overly humid air, temperatures that are too hot or too cold, odd odors, allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emanate from chemicals such as cleaning solvents, resins, paints and more. VOCs can also emanate from substances such as formaldehyde, phthalates, and other substances that are hidden within in many buildings, such as lead and asbestos.

Negative effects of some substances like lead or asbestos is well known, but adverse consequences of other undesirable substances is less understood, even though many chemicals emitting VOCs are carcinogenic and can negatively impact the endocrine and nervous systems of the human body. Frequently, VOCs and substances such as molds, fungi and other undesirable particles that inhabit commercial building ventilation systems exacerbate allergies and can worsen breathing problems.


The danger comes when pollutants and irritants build to a level where they become noticeable, as most people spend up to 90% of their lives inside buildings. With the push toward making all buildings more air tight to conserve energy, air exchange between the interior and the exterior is reduced, thus leading to a faster build up of contaminants. Proper ventilation to allow build-up to escape to the outside is more important than ever, along with the installation of air purifiers and similar measures that will keep air cleaner inside commercial establishments.

Fortunately, as a business owner, you can do a lot of small things that will make commercial indoor air quality better. First off, if your system is more than 10 years old, think about replacing it. Today’s systems are much more energy efficient and when combined with commercial air cleaners, remove particulates much quicker. Schedule maintenance and duct cleaning on a regular basis to reduce particle build-up. Bring in extra ventilation when work is performed that may involved VOC’s.

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