What Are the Sources of Dust in Homes?
How Can I Reduce Dust at Home?
- Regularly change HVAC system filters: Dirty HVAC system filters can lead to the spreading of dust through the ductwork. Changing the filter on a monthly basis will help to keep clean, dust-free air circulating throughout your home, while also allowing your system to work more efficiently – which can lower your energy bills.
- Use doormats: Dust is often tracked inside the home whenever someone enters. Investing in exterior doormats – and instructing everyone in your family to thoroughly wipe their feet prior to entering – can cut down on dust tracking. If you have a “mud-room,” this is a great place to have your family and guests enter and take of their shoes. That way, you keep dust from spreading to the rest of the house, and you can focus your cleaning efforts more on that room and less on the whole house.
- Make pet grooming a top priority: While we do love our cats and dogs, their dander and shedding of fur is a major dust source. Grooming your pets – even short-haired animals – on a regular basis will keep hair and dead skin cells – and the dust they produce – from accumulating. Even if you have no time to take your pets to the groomers, simply brushing their coat – outdoors of course – or giving them a bath will help cut down on their dust contribution. Another helpful step is to purchase the type of cat litter box that comes with a cover.
- Keep doors and windows closed: Most of us enjoy a refreshing breeze filtering through our homes, but the incoming air can also transport dust inside in the form of various pollutants. Door and window screens keep most bugs out, but they still permit the flow of pollutants into your home. If dust is a major concern in your home, your best bet is to keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible, particularly on windy days.
- Ramp up your housekeeping efforts: Frequent, thorough housecleaning will go a long way toward minimizing dust. Effective dust-prevention cleaning practices include mopping floors with a damp mop (the moisture will trap dust), dusting upholstery and blinds, washing pillows, removing clutter such as piles of newspapers and magazines, and vacuuming a minimum of once a week – including under the beds. Vacuums are now available with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that can trap the most minute dust particles.
- Consider removing carpeting: Carpeting holds dust that is then released into the air whenever someone walks across it. Hard-surface flooring materials such as wood, vinyl and tile will not trap dust – and many homeowners find that flooring is more attractive than carpeting and easier to keep clean. If you’re considering some home upgrades or a remodeling project, this could be a good idea to increase the comfort of your home.
- Use air purifiers: Air purifiers are small, portable units you can easily place in dust-prone areas inside your home. They typically consist of a fan that circulates the air and a filter that effectively traps dust particles. These machines can be especially helpful for family members who suffer from allergies. You can dramatically increase their comfort just by adding a purifier to their bedroom, especially at night.