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Understanding Particulate Matter and Where it Comes From

When you think of particulate matter, particles in the outdoor air are probably the first things that come to mind. However, you could be shocked to discover that the air in your Oak Ridge, NC home has particulate matter at a concentration that’s up to five times higher than the outdoors. It’s important to know what particulate matter is and where it comes from so that you can choose the right indoor air quality products for your home.

What Particulate Matter Is

Particle pollution is a mix of liquid droplets and solid particles suspended in the air. Some particles are big enough to be seen with your eyes. Other particles are so small that you’d need an electron microscope to visualize them, explains the Environmental Protection Agency.

Where the Particles Come From

Particles come from many sources, including your own body. Dust comes from flakes of shed skin. Other solid particles may come from hobbies, carpets, particleboard, drywall, fireplaces, and the process of combustion in your water heater, furnace, or oven. Liquid droplets may come from cooking, sneezing, coughing, and cleaning. Particles can also get into your home from the outdoors.

Why Particulate Pollution Is Harmful

Particle pollution is so small that you breathe it into your lungs. The particles get lodged in your airways, and some can get into your blood. Once in your body, the particles may cause coughing, chronic lung inflammation, breathing difficulty, or cancer.

How to Remove Particulate Matter from Your Home

The best way to remove particulate pollution from your home is with a whole-home air purifier. These units remove the particles. We also recommend a UV light. They destroy allergens and germs. Consider upgrading your air filter to one with a minimum efficiency reported value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher.

To learn more about particulate matter and where it comes from, take a look at Total Heating & Cooling, Inc.’s indoor air quality products, or get in touch with us any time.

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