Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Which Particulates Are Most Harmful to Indoor Air Quality?

The level of indoor air pollution can vary from home to home, depending on several factors: how much ventilation the home has; how airtight the home is; and how effective the home’s air filtration is. Nonetheless, all homes have some level of harmful particulates that should be addressed to improve indoor air quality.

Just what are these harmful particulates, and which ones should you be most concerned about? Read on for a brief summary of some of the most common harmful particulates in your home.


Mold is usually the result of too-humid conditions in a home. Spores may enter the home from the outside and colonize damp places, causing damage to drywall, wood, fibers, and home furnishings. Mold is also harmful to breathe, particularly for individuals with asthma or other respiratory problems.

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

VOCs are the often-harmful particulates that are off-gassed by various chemicals. These chemicals are found in abundance in the modern home. Some of the sources of VOCs are dry-cleaning solvent; pressed wood; paints; cleaners; fragrances; aerosols; air fresheners; disinfectants; and paint remover. Caps and lids should be tightened to keep these substances from polluting the indoor air. Better yet, store them outside. Pressed-wood products and dry-cleaned laundry should be aired out before bringing it indoors.


Dust is one of the most common harmful particulates. One of the main ingredients of dust is the flaky skin particles we and our pets shed in the normal course of inhabiting our homes. It is also composed of dried insect particles, clothing fibers, soil particles, pollen, bacteria, hair, and microscopic specks of dust. People can be allergic to dust, but it is relatively easy to control by frequent vacuuming with a HEPA filter and using a good-quality air filter in the HVAC system.

Pet Dander.

We mentioned pet dander, or skin flakes, above, but it’s worth noting that many individuals are very allergic to this.

To learn more about harmful particulates in your home, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.