How to Eliminate Dust in My Home
DUST! Everyone has it, and nobody wants it. What exactly is it? According to an article in Time magazine, “dust consists of some combination of shed bits of human skin, animal fur, decomposing insects, food debris, lint and organic fibers from clothes, bedding and other fabrics, tracked-in soil, soot, particulate matter from smoking and cooking, and, disturbingly, lead, arsenic and even toxins.” YUCK!
This definitely does not paint a pretty picture. It’s easy to see how dust can affect your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), leading to sickness and allergens. At Arise, we know how important clean indoor air quality is for your home.
With indoor air typically being less healthy than outdoor air, we need to take measures to reduce factors contributing to the indoor pollution––both for our health and our home environment. Keep in mind, completely eliminating or eradicating dust from your home is an impossible task. By its mere definition above, you can understand why it will always exist in your home. However, you can substantially reduce your home’s dust levels by following some of the recommendations below.
Take Care of Your Filters
The purpose of your HVAC system’s air filter is to trap air particulates (dust, debris, allergens, germs) from flowing through the system’s air. Your home’s air is circulated past its filter and through your HVAC duct system. Using the best filter you can afford at a type and rating recommended by your system’s manufacturer can trap a lot of the dust traveling through your home. Filters are rated by MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), a measurement system created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers to rate how effective different filters are. Be sure to purchase filters with MERV ratings approved by your equipment manufacturer for your system. (If you are not sure about this Arise can definitely help.)
Even more important than using highly efficient filters, we recommend changing your filters on a regular basis. Some 4” or 5” high-capacity filters are made to last 3 to 6 months. For a 1” or 2” filter, we recommend changing every month. Most household dust is not visible to the eye. When available, please follow the manufacturer recommendation of when to change a filter, regardless of whether it “looks’ dirty.
Check Your Air Ducts
If you have a ducted HVAC system, you have air ducts carrying your home’s air to and from your heating-and-cooling system. If your ducts are not sealed well or have leaks, unfiltered air will be sneaking into your home. It is estimated you could have as much as 30 percent air leakage due to poor duct sealing, damage or leaks. That means air is being introduced into your home that has not gone through the filter process or cooling process, making your home dirty and your AC inefficient.
Air duct leaks, over time, can cause a buildup of dust and debris inside your duct system. If you notice a continual high level of dust in your home, call Arise to perform a professional inspection of your duct system. Except in extenuating circumstances such as construction or smoke damage, we do not recommend routine cleaning of your duct system as the potential for further damage to flexible ducts is too great.
Upgrade to an Electronic Filtration System
For those who suffer allergies, have weakened immune systems or simply want greater indoor air quality, we recommend a whole house electronic filtration system. This usually consists of a multi-step filtration device that uses an electronic process to capture and kill air particulates, allergens, mold, germs, dust, smoke and bacteria. The electronic filtration system typically replaces your monthly disposable filter with a washable or disposable high capacity filter and an electronic field charger. Its ability to cleanse your indoor air is unmatched by a disposable filter alone. Arise sells, installs and maintains electronic filtration systems.
Use an Air Sanitizer/Purifier
Though eliminating the sources of your home’s dust is impossible, utilizing an air sanitizer/purifier can make a world of difference in reducing the danger of air particulates that cause so many health issues. A whole-home air sanitizer/purifier works in conjunction with the airflow of your home’s HVAC system to neutralize and purify the air of dust, allergens and other air particles. The greatest benefit of a single whole-house sanitizer/purifier is that it purifies all the air in your entire home, rather than in a single room or area. Arise offers several levels of whole-house air sanitizer/purifier systems to meet every need.
Check Your Indoor Humidity Level
Be sure your home has the appropriate level of humidity. Too high of humidity can cause mold and mildew. Too low, more air particulates are able to circulate in the home. Try to keep it between 45 to 55 percent year round here in Cedar Park, TX.
Extra Steps While Cleaning Your Home
In addition to the HVAC steps you can take to reduce dust, there are some simple things that can be done while cleaning your house:
Eliminate clutter, as it collects dust
- Vacuum one to two times a week, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, if possible
- Dust with a microfiber or damp cloth to catch dust, dusting from top to bottom
- Wash bedding regularly––sheets and pillowcases once a week, blankets, duvets, and pillows every three to four weeks
- Clean dryer filter at every use
- Remove wall-to-wall carpeting, as it is a major habitat for dust
At Arise, we know dust can be a nuisance as well as a serious allergen. If you notice more-than-normal dust levels in your home, call Arise at 512-267-5000 to schedule an inspection so we can get to the bottom of the issue. Start breathing cleaner air immediately.