Airborne Particulate Matter Poses Numerous Potential Health Issues

Do you or other members of your household suffer from dry skin, fatigue, sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, or shortness of breath on a routine basis? Many people suffer from allergies in the spring here in Weddington, NC, but have you noticed that allergy symptoms in your household are to the extreme or occur year-round? If so, there’s a good chance that you’re suffering the effects of airborne particulate matter in your air supply. There are numerous ways that matter may impact your health negatively, but there are some simple solutions. With proper ventilation via the installation of whole-home ventilators and air purification systems, you can improve air quality and potentially the health of everyone living in your home or working in your office space. Let’s take a look at what particulate matter is and why it can have a catastrophic impact on your health when left unchecked.

What is Airborne Particulate Matter?

Particulate matter refers to organic or non-organic particles that are small enough to blend into the air unseen. They come in solid and liquid form and are suspended in the atmosphere, floating freely around your home or office. That means you breathe them in and give them access to your internal system. The problem is that most people aren’t aware of their presence and mistakenly believe that indoor air is purer and healthier than outdoor air.

Some of the more common types of airborne matter in homes and office spaces today include:

  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Dirt
  • Soot
  • Bacteria
  • Aerosols

There are different sizes of airborne matter, and some are associated with more potential health problems than others. They’re all a serious concern when heavily concentrated in an indoor space.

How Does It Get in Your Home or Office?

Some particulate matter occurs naturally as a result of complex chemical reactions that take place in the atmosphere. Other particles are introduced through open windows, cracks in the foundation of a building, or even your household cleaning products.

Your HVAC system helps control these particles through its filter, but you must change that filter regularly and maintain the system over time because new particles are entering the air daily. Most HVAC systems aren’t adequate to keep your air healthy on their own.

The Danger of Airborne Particulate Matter

Particulate matter may seem like a natural result of modern life. You may blow it off easily since you can’t see it or feel it entering your body, but there are some reasons to take it seriously. For starters, just think about tiny pieces of unsafe substances entering your lungs and heart. That is happening right now to millions of people.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has associated these particles with the following potential health effects:

  • Aggravated asthma
  • Decreased lung function
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack (non-fatal)
  • Airway irritation
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

If someone in your household already suffers from lung or heart disease, they’re more vulnerable to premature death if your air quality is poor. Let’s take a minute to understand why proper ventilation is critical to cleaning up your air and improving your health.

Proper Ventilation Is Key

One of the simplest ways to control indoor particulate pollution is to ensure your space has proper ventilation. Kitchen appliances can contribute to poor air quality if they aren’t vented to the outdoors correctly. Stoves, heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces all require proper ventilation if you want to keep your air as free of particulates as possible.

Ventilation can also prevent the accumulation of aerosols, sprays, and mists in the air. These pollutants are often the result of cleaning your home, so choosing your products carefully may help as well. Your HVAC system should remove a lot of particulates from the air when properly maintained, but that isn’t always enough to keep your air as healthy as possible.

How to Combat Particulate Matter Indoors

Start by ensuring your space is properly ventilated. Look at your appliances and fireplace to make sure there are no ventilation issues. Then consider installing whole-home ventilators and air purification systems to keep particulate matter from accumulating in your air.

If you’re uncertain whether you need to invest in proper ventilation or decrease your indoor particulate matter, contact Byrum Heating & A/C, Inc. today to schedule an indoor air quality analysis.

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