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The quality of the air around you is something that you may think about from time to time especially if you see particles floating. What exactly are those particles? Should I call a duct cleaning service? Should I be concerned about exposure for my family? You wouldn’t be the only Arlington, TX household to think that and it’s important to know what exactly may be floating around and what they can cause as you are exposed to them.
What is particulate matter and what does it measure?
Starting out in this exploration it is critical to know how particles are measured and how they are measured for density. The first thing to know is that not all particles are the same size. In the US particle pollution is generally put into two separate categories, PM10 and PM2.5. PM10 items are at or near 10 micrometers in diameter while PM2.5 items are around 2.5 micrometers in diameter. To put into comparison as to that actual size a human hair is generally 70 micrometers in diameter, 30 times larger than the largest PM2.5 items. If you use a service they will usually explain to you how effective their system is for both particle sizes.
Particle density is the other part of the equation. You now know the size of the particles but concentration also affects air quality and it is important to keep that in mind. Density is measured in parts per million (PPM) or parts per billion (PPB) depending on what is being measured. In most instances you would want less parts per million or billion to ensure that your air quality is at an acceptable breathable level. Consult a duct cleaning service to ensure you are doing all you can to reduce the concentrations of particles in the air.
The largest source of particulate matter in your house will be dust. Dust generally looked at as a lot of different smaller particles in the air that latch together and form larger particles. Inside the house you will see dust gather on flat stationary objects including shelving and solid floors or ingrained into fabrics like carpet or furniture. They get disturbed by anything like walking past them, cleaning your house, having a wind current or draft through your house, or by the house shifting or settling. This is one of the most standard things a duct cleaning service will be able to help reduce the concentration of in your house, as an air filter won’t be able to catch it all. Dust can contain items from multiple sources including soil like when the dust bowl affected Arlington, TX in the 1930s, fibers from paper and fabrics, dead skin cells, and other items found in the local environment.
Something a duct cleaning service may mention to you is the reduction or removal of dust mites.Dust mites are microscopic creatures that are actually arachnids who primarily eat dead skin cells. They don’t live on people thankfully but tend to rest on fabrics like carpet, furniture and bedding. They were very rare until people started using textiles during our journey to modernization and prefer dark, humid, and warm areas. They and their remains produce particles in dust but they are actually heavier, meaning they will generally sink to the floor when disturbed.
Pets and Plants
Two other items you will commonly hear of contributing to air quality issues are pets and pollen. Pet dander is an allergen that is made of microscopic flecks of dead skin shed specifically by our furry or feathered friends. These allergens are then disturbed by air flow changes in the house and can cause allergic reactions in your home. If you have a pet or a few in your house your duct cleaning service will let you know that there is not a real good way to prevent this aside from regular cleaning.
Plants are even more common allergens and particles that will be in your house affecting your air quality. Pollens are actually grains of vegetative cells that are used to help plants reproduce. The major factor for human allergens are from flowering plants. They transfer out of their original plant by many means including air flow outside and close contact with flowering plants. These particles are critical to our natural ecosystems but inside the house they are generally a nuisance that calling a duct cleaning service will be able to take care of. Keeping plants indoors will greatly increase the chances of pollen getting in your air but it commonly comes in from outside environments.
Mold and Mildew
More serious problems can arise if you have mold and mildew present in your home. Mildew in and of itself is a thin fungus that can grow on many organic materials . It is generally white in color and has a different odor. Powdery versions of mildew can become airborne leading to even more problems in your home. A duct cleaning service will test for mildew but it can also be cleaned in most cases.
Mold itself can affect a lot more items than mildew. Mold can grow on paper products, paint, drywall, treated upholstery, wood, wallpaper, and even insulation in your walls. Having a duct cleaning service regularly clean your air ducts will decrease the opportunity for mold to find its way into your home but it can be brought in on items that don’t even show the symptoms of mold. You generally won’t notice until you start seeing the colored splotches on the surfaces of your home. In fact if you can see mold it’s likely too late to clean and could be in your entire house. To add insult to injury mold spores can grow on the aforementioned dust compounding a problem you may know have known you had.
When you need a duct cleaning service to take care of issues with your air quality call Minuteman Heating & Air out of Arlington, TX. Their history and knowledge will allow you to achieve peace of mind about your air quality and ensure these particles are taken care of so you can breathe easier. Visit Minuteman Heating and Air today.