Do you feel like you’re fighting a never-ending battle against household dust? You’re not alone. These pesky particles seem to settle on surfaces mere hours after cleaning. Not only is that persistent layer of dust unsightly, but it can also cause problems for those suffering from dust allergies or asthma.

Read on to learn what causes dust to settle everywhere, and what measures you can take to reduce the presence of this household annoyance.

What is Dust?

Dust is made up of many particles, including hair, dead skin, pet dander, pollen, dead bugs, dust mite droppings, and so on. It accumulates on surfaces, floats in the air, and can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions when inhaled.

When dust moves around the air, it accumulates a positive or negative static electric charge, causing it to build up on some surfaces more than others.

What Causes Excess Dust?

There are several factors that can increase the amount of dust in a home. Learn how to recognize them so you can tackle dust at the source.

  • The Vacuum

While vacuum cleaning is a great way to remove dust from the carpet in a room, it can also release excess dust and contaminants into the air if the vacuum isn’t equipped with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are engineered to remove particles and contaminants the size of .3 microns or larger at an efficiency rating of 99.97%. If your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter, it’s likely adding to your dust problem.

  • Dirty HVAC Filters

Your HVAC filter is your first line of defense against dust. But if you don’t replace it routinely, it will do little to filter out dirt, dust, and other contaminants and keep them out of the air in your home. Be sure to replace your filter every 10 weeks during the heating season, or as recommended the manufacturer. Additionally, low-quality air filters have larger holes in them, allowing dust to pass through and re-enter through the home’s supply vents. Look for air filters for a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating between 5 and 8; ratings below this range aren’t efficient enough.

  • Rugs and Carpets

Dirt that settles into carpet and area rug fibers can be a major contributor to household dust. Frequent vacuuming can help, as long as the vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter. To further reduce dust, ask household members and visitors to remove their shoes at the front door and place them in a utility closet or on a welcome mat. Also, use a carpet cleaner 2 to 3 times a year in high traffic areas such as the master bedroom or dining room.

  • Upholstery and Draperies

The simple act of opening the curtains or sitting on the sofa can release dust into the air. Once a week, use your vacuum’s attachments to vacuum upholstered couches and chairs, throw pillows, and thick window treatments. Wash or dry clean draperies at least once a year to help reduce dust trapped in their fabric.

  • Air Leaks

One of the most effective ways to reduce dust and improve the cleanliness of your air is to seal air leaks. Caulk window frames, replace damaged weather-stripping around doors, and seal gaps around light switches, electrical outlets, and plumbing pipes. Inspect your air ducts for gaps around connections and seal if needed. These simple tasks will also keep heated or air conditioned air from escaping and shave a few bucks off your energy bills.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions

If you notice an abnormal amount of dust in your home, contact Zach Heating & Cooling today. We offer a variety of indoor air quality solutions, including HEPA filtration systems, UV air cleaners, and humidity control systems. Call us today for an in-home consultation and new system proposal.