Why is my house so dusty, you ask. Does it feel like no matter how often you clean, the dust appears everywhere still? You’re not alone because most homeowners have the same excessive dust problem. First, let’s take a closer look at what causes dust in a house. Then, we’ll look at what you can do to fix it.
What Causes Excessive Dust in Your Houses
Your Air Conditioning Maybe To Blame
Your HVAC unit brings from outside the home and runs the air through a filter. Then, it heats and cools your home by blowing that air out through a series of air ducts.
If your filter is cheap or dirty, it’s not doing much to keep airborne dust and dirt out of your home. If it’s dirty, your HVAC system works harder, too. This not only drives up your energy bills but shortens the lifespan of your unit.
When it comes to reducing dust, not all air filters are created equally. A basic fiberglass filter doesn’t do much to prevent the dust from getting into your home. It’s more about keeping HVAC systems protected than it is about indoor air quality.
There are washable and reusable filters. There are disposable filters. If you’re not sure what kind of air filter your HVAC system uses, check what’s currently in the system. Talk with an HVAC pro or the system manufacturer to learn more about your options.
Dust Mites Hide in Your Carpet
Dust, dirt, dead skin cells, and pet hair build up in the air. And ultimately, those particles settle onto your upholstered furniture and the floor. They rest on the surface of hard floors but settle deep into your carpet fibers. Plus, the dirt from your shoes and pets’ paws will add to the problem. The only way to prevent buildup is by keeping your floors clean.
A Note About Humidity
Humidity is a significant factor when it comes to dust mite concentrations in your home. Dust mites don’t drink water; they absorb it from the air. If you live in an area with low humidity, the mites won’t be able to survive. However, if your home has dry air, you can still have a dust problem.
Both low humidity and high humidity play a role in why your house is so dusty. When the air is dry, your air can be extra dusty. But when it’s too high, it can feed mites and promote mold growth.
If your air is dry, run a humidifier so that you can reach a comfortable level. If it starts to go too high, run it less often. You’ll have to run it more in the winter since the air tends to be drier.
The ideal level changes with the weather. In the summer, there’s more moisture in the air. In the winter, there is less. The ideal indoor humidity is between 40% and 60%, though experts say 60% may encourage mold growth. As such, 50% is usually a safe bet.
Doors and Windows Could Be Letting Dust In
You’ve likely heard that leaky doors and windows lead to energy loss. But what you may not know is that dust and pollen can also make their way into your home every time the wind blows. And if you live on a dirt or gravel road, you can expect an even worse dust situation.
Excess Dust Builds Up on Furniture and Curtains
Fabric accumulates dust. Simply opening the curtains or sitting on your sofa can release the trapped dust into the air. Vacuum attachments make it easy to clean the curtains and furniture once a week. Having your drapes professionally dry cleaned once a year can also help reduce dust.
If you don’t use curtains, but use blinds or shades, wipe those down regularly. you don’t need anything super fancy to be able to clean up the blinds hanging in your home. With just a few things that you’ve probably already got on hand, you can get to work cleaning your blinds.
Leaky Ducts Bring In More Dust
Your home’s air ducts run through walls, ceilings, attics, and crawlspaces. There may be holes in the ductwork or issues with sealing the connections where two pieces join together. When this happens, more dust can move into the ducts and be blown into your home.
If you see that more dust settles after you run the furnace or air conditioner, a leaky duct could be the culprit. Schedule a technician to come out and run a pressure test on your HVAC system to determine if duct system repairs are necessary.
Ways to Reduce Dust and Improve Air Quality in Your Home
Dust can seem harmless on the surface. However, besides dirt itself, dust consists of other dangerous tiny particles such as mold spores, pollen, fibers, pet dander, hair, human skin flakes, bacteria, viruses, food particles, dust mite waste, and more. There are different ways to reduce dust accumulation in your house. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some simple and cheap ways to reduce too much dust in your home on top of thorough cleaning.
Change the Way You Dust
If you use a dry cloth, you’re likely just moving the dust around. Ideally, you’ll use a damp microfiber cloth. The microfiber will trap dust particles and remove them.
If you don’t have microfiber available, opt for a damp cloth or a wet cloth that you can wash after you’re finished. The moisture will help trap the dust. Always work from top to bottom. This prevents adding dust from the top of the room to the places you’ve already dusted.
Wipe fan blades, and don’t forget that dust particles can cling to vertical surfaces too. Wipe down your walls once a month to remove dust build-up. Clean baseboards and use attachments to clean the ceilings occasionally.
Vacuuming your carpet, furniture, and curtains every week can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality. This is especially the case if you have pets. Unfortunately, even short-haired animals can produce a lot of pet dander. As a result, pet hair is a significant contributor to poor indoor air quality.
If you don’t like vacuuming, the only thing you can do is remove all the carpet from your home. You should always switch to leather or wooden furniture that has no fabric to collect dust.
Which First: Vacuuming or Dusting?
That’s entirely a matter of preference. There isn’t any clear-cut evidence that either order makes a difference. For example, some cleaning professionals say you should dust from top to bottom before vacuuming with a HEPA filter. This approach cleans all the dust that settles onto the floor in the dusting process.
Others say, however, to vacuum first. Why? Because vacuuming stirs up dust – especially if you don’t use a HEPA filter in your vacuum.
Try it both ways and see what works best for you.
Use a Higher MERV Rating Filter in Your HVAC
A higher MERV rating means that the filter can block more particles from getting to the air inside your home. If you or your family members deal with allergies, asthma, or other health conditions, opt for a MERV 11 or MERV 13. These are the highest-rated options recommended for residential use. They can help mitigate the health effects of dust problems.
Make it a point to inspect your air filters every month. The thicker your filters are, the longer they will last between changes. If they are so dusty that you cannot see the filter media, change the filter. Invest in charcoal filters to combat odors.
Check the weather stripping around the doors and windows in your house. Replace anything worn, cracked, or otherwise broken. It’ll improve your energy efficiency and help prevent all the dust outside from making its way inside.
Don’t Wear Shoes Inside Your House
Have everyone remove their shoes the moment they get to the door. A lot of the dirt and dust that makes its way into our house comes through our shoes.
Invest in a shoe rack you can keep by the door to quickly grab them on your way out and store them when you come in.
Keep Your Bed Clean
While we sleep, we lose a lot of skin cells and hair that mites love to munch on. Wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week to prevent buildup. Other bedding can be washed monthly. Vacuum your mattress regularly.
Keep Your Bathroom Clean and Dry
Mold and mildew don’t just make for breathing issues. They can make your house dusty, too. Run your exhaust fan during and after your shower to dry everything up as soon as possible. Leaving the wet surface breeds mold and mildew. And it makes it easier for the dust to stick to surfaces.
Run an Air Purifier
Have a problem with dust floating or if you find that your house is still dusty after you’ve made these changes, air purifiers in multiple rooms may be the solution. However, even with a good house cleaning, you may find that you’re still dealing with itchy eyes and other allergy symptoms.
Air purifiers work with filters to draw out more contaminants from your indoor air. Using them with your heating and cooling system means that your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard. If you use one, remember to check this air filter, too.
Don’t Have Time to Dust? Hire Us!
If you find yourself constantly wondering, “Why is my house so dusty?” you can see there are plenty of reasons. If you want to get rid of dust in your home, Upstairs Downstairs Cleaning is the solution. We know how precious your free time is. So instead of using it to clean your house, let us take care of it for you.
Vacuuming and dusting every surface in your home is part of our standard house cleaning checklist. If you hire us to keep your home clean on a recurring basis – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – you are sure to notice less dust build-up between visits.
Contact us today for your cleaning estimate. Get rid of the extra dust in your home once and for all!