If you looking to breathe healthier in your own home or place of business, chances are you will hear terms like HEPA, MERV16, CADR, PM’s etc. But, what does it all mean? To make it simple lets break down real facts that are used and have been used in the professional industry for many years. PM the term used by Industrial Hygienist, Environmentalist, Indoor/ Outdoor Air Professionals, etc., which means particulate matter.
PM10 (Particulate Matter < 10 Microns)
Some Particles with a diameter less than 10 microns across. For some perspective, a human hair is about 50 – 70 microns across and a micron often called a micrometer is one-millionth of a meter. While a PM10 particle is tiny it still pretty coarse by particle standards and will often contain things like dust, dander, and pollen. These are allergens to be sure but generally, are not the most dangerous particles.
PM2.5 (Particulate Matter < 2.5 Microns)
These are particles less than 2.5 microns and often contain things like Ammonia, Carbon, Lead, and mold. Both chemically and biologically toxic particles generally fall into this smaller 2.5 microns or less size range.
In the graph shown, you can see the results of the % of PM 2.5 sized particles that passed through some various tested filters ( Source: Zhao D, Azimi P, Stephens B – Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015) .
The EPA has tested and found that indoor air can be significantly more polluted with VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) often 2 to 5 times more than outdoors.
VOCs are gaseous and are not the same as PM2.5 particles and shouldn’t be confused with them. For VOC’s you can ventilate, use sorbent based filtration or products like an ozone free bipolar ionizer, that capture such gases that has been shown to reduce VOCs in studies.
The most dangerous stuff in the air are chemicals, tiny particles and live organisms caused by moisture issues.
If you’re looking for a professional solution call us! We use only proven professional grade products used every day in high end hotels, airports, hospitals, government buildings, occupant health conscious buildings and more. By the way the filtration products we offer remove down to .007 microns (know as nanoparticles), that’s more effective then HEPA and kills the live organisms it captures so they don’t grow through the filter like most air cleaners, including HEPA.