Improve Indoor Air by Fighting Dust

We put so much effort into turning our homes into closed environments.  We seal windows and doors, create positive pressure environments, and use central heating and cooling to control the climate behind our doors.  Unfortunately, this closed circulation loop promotes a build-up of dust and particulate chemicals that stay in the home.  These particles and dust-mites are brought in by shoes, clothing, and everyday items such as paint or cleaning products.

Fortunately, your home has a filtration system that helps to keep your air clean, but it isn’t perfect and can, without proper maintenance, compound the problems in your home. Natural ventilation, open windows or vents, is a better method in many respects (cheaper too) but not entirely enjoyable during the winter.  Still, you can prevent a majority of breathing and filtration issues by dealing with one of the more common pollutants: dust.

What Are The Problems Caused By Dust?

Dust is composed of more than just dirt.  Dirt, sand, skin, hair, and flecks of paint are all contributors to dust.  Anything small enough to be carried around by the air can become part of the dust in your home.  Every single particle adds to the problems compounding respiratory issues such as allergies, but they also decrease the quality of living in your home.

Dust doesn’t just make breathing uncomfortable, it covers undisturbed areas and can become an eyesore if not cleaned regularly.  Increasing levels of dust in the home can also decrease the life expectancy of electronics.  Dust particles can settle inside computers, entertainment systems, and your HVAC system or furnace.  A small amount of dust is no issue, but as the quantity increases your device will develop heating or efficiency issues (as is the case with heating and air systems) that shorten the lifespan of the system.

How to Prevent Dust:

You could try living in a perfectly clean room, but that would require near-constant cleaning and a lengthy preparation process just to get in through the front door.  Since that’s obviously not feasible, limiting the introduction of dust into your home is ideal.

Reduce or store dust collecting items.  Fabrics and linens collect and produce a great deal of dust in your home.  While much of it is tracked in, the airborne particles collect in the folds of clothes and bedsheets. Regular cleaning and washing will help limit the amount of dust in your air.  To deal with the dust you bring into your home, leave your shoes at the door.  Vacuum carpets and sweep floors regularly to keep dust levels down.

Of course, much of your dust is eventually pulled into the ventilation system. Your air filter should remove this dust but if you haven’t cleaned or replaced your filter, it can’t do this properly. Changing out your air filter will ensure that you have cleaner air at all times.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to freshen the air in your home is to open windows and doors.  So once the weather improves, take a day to air out your home and clean all of the fabrics inside.  Your sinuses will definitely thank you for it.

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