Dust: that all-too-familiar powder that coats your furniture, gets in your bedding, and makes you sneeze when it’s disturbed. Dust is composed of debris, including dead skin cells, pet fur, lint, pollen, dirt, dust mite feces, and even insect parts.
Nobody wants these things in their home, and you certainly don’t want them floating in the air you breathe. But what can be done about it? While you can’t eliminate all the dust in every room, there are techniques you can perform to reduce dust in your home.
Run an Air Purifier
When your air cycles through an air purifier, the filter catches and holds dust and other allergens floating around in your home. Running a purifier (and changing its filter regularly) can improve your indoor air quality and reduce dust levels in your environment.
Air purifiers are either small stand-alone units or comprehensive whole-home systems integrated within your HVAC system.
- Stand-alone units: You can place a portable purifier in any room where dust is a problem. However, its size limits its positive effects to the room where it’s plugged in.
- Whole-home systems: A whole-home purifier is a centralized device that affects all the air moving through your furnace or air conditioning. If you want to reduce dust in every room, this is more efficient and economical than placing portable air purifiers in every room.
Maintain Moderate Humidity Levels
The moisture levels in the air have an impact on the dust in your home. In the arid desert regions of Arizona, low humidity is the more common concern. Airborne allergens and other particles are drier and lighter when humidity is low, so they stay in the air and are more likely to enter your nose, mouth, and eventually your lungs.
You can run a humidifier to relieve indoor allergies and increase moisture levels; however, you should be careful not to increase it too much. Dust mites thrive when humidity is over 50%, which means more feces and more dust.
To best control dust and allergen levels in your home, aim for an ideal humidity range of 40-50% in the summer and 30-40% in the winter.
Stop Dust at the Door
Since dust is partially made up of dirt and pollen from the outside, you can limit interior dustiness by keeping those elements out. Do this by:
- Placing a doormat at each exterior door. Better yet, put down two doormats, one inside and one outside. Doormats, especially the stiff bristle-top variety, will help to loosen and trap dirt before it gets tracked inside.
- Removing your shoes. Taking off your shoes at the door when you come in, and asking your guests to do the same, will further decrease the amount of outside debris in your home.
- Keeping doors and windows closed. Sealing your interior space is especially important on windy days. If your doors and windows are open, the same gusts kicking up the dirt and sand outside could also deposit it on your indoor surfaces.
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Despite your best efforts to keep impurities out, dust will eventually accumulate in your air and on your belongings. Removing it will require more than just running a cloth over dusty surfaces, however. So, here are some cleaning tips to help reduce the dust in your home more effectively:
- Use a damp cloth or a microfiber rag to collect rather than agitate the dust. That way, impurities are contained and not simply being moved to another surface or into the air.
- Dusting is most effective when you start with high surfaces first and work your way down. Otherwise, you’ll just be dropping dust onto your newly cleaned surfaces and doubling your work.
- Vacuum after dusting to remove any dust that may have settled onto the floor. If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to get as many smaller particles as possible.
- Knick-knacks and other objects collect dust and make it harder to keep your house clean. You can reduce dust in your home by minimizing clutter on shelves and other open spaces.
Groom Your Pets
Pet dander and fur is another major contributor to dust accumulation, but you can reduce its impact by bathing and brushing your pets regularly. The dirt, dead skin cells, and loose hair removed by grooming are then washed away rather than accumulating on your floors or in the air.
Use High-Quality HVAC Filters
Your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system has a filter to capture airborne dust before it can reach your furnace or AC. Filters with higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings have more limited openings and can stop smaller particles.
Higher MERV is not always better, however. Therefore, you should select a high-quality filter with a MERV rating recommended for your specific HVAC system. Additionally, be sure to replace your HVAC filter every three months or sooner if it starts to restrict airflow.
Clean and Inspect Your Air Ducts
The ductwork hiding behind your walls and ceiling provides a pathway for air flowing to and from your forced-air HVAC system. Over time, dust that makes it past your HVAC filter or comes in through leaky ducts will accumulate inside these passages.
If you notice persistent dust in your home even after taking the steps above, you may need to have your air ducts cleaned and inspected for leaks. A routine HVAC check-up from Ambient Edge can clear away dust and seal leaks you didn’t know you had.
Reduce Dust With Services From Ambient Edge
You can take steps to minimize the dust in your home and improve your air quality, and Ambient Edge can help. We will work with you to optimize your HVAC performance and offer guidance on air purifier and filter options.
Take advantage of our routine HVAC maintenance plans and round-the-clock emergency services so that your system will continue working efficiently to keep dust levels down. Contact us today to learn more about our available services and set up a consultation.