Particulate Matter and Indoor Air Quality

Is your home trying to kill you? It sounds rather overdramatic, but studies consistently show that poor indoor air quality can be a very serious health risk. In fact, it’s estimated that about 130,000 people die prematurely each year because of indoor air pollution. The primary culprit is a class of minuscule contaminants called particulate matter. Take a look at this nearly invisible menace and how to keep it out of your Lorton, Virginia home.

The Particulate Problem

Also called particle pollution, particulate matter is an umbrella term referring to the mix of particles typically suspended in air. This mix is variable and complex but often includes dust, pet,and human dander, bacteria, and other microorganisms. It also frequently includes the harmful byproducts of tobacco smoke, stoves, fireplaces, and other combustion sources. Particles that are smaller than 10 micrometers are especially important because they’re easily inhaled into the body.

Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

With so much particulate matter swirling around, it’s easy to see why indoor air can be hazardous. The potential health risks depend on the degree of pollution and the mix of particulates. However, short-term exposure to poor air quality is often associated with the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Worsened asthma or allergy symptoms
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat

Exposure over a longer period carries even more serious health risks. These include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Respiratory disease
  • Cardiovascular disease

Eliminating Particle Pollution in Your Home

Even if you keep your home spotless, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all sources of particulates. The good news is that there are several ways to control these pollutants and improve your air quality. Installing high-efficiency HVAC filters is a low-cost way to pull many pollutants from your home. Air purifiers and other air quality systems are even more powerful, helping to clean even the most polluted indoor air.

Poor air quality from particle pollution is a real hazard that demands swift action. If you suspect an air quality problem in your home, explore Commonwealth Cooling & Heating’s indoor air quality solutions or dial 703-436-8028 to speak with a representative.

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