10 Tips for getting rid of dust in the air
Posted on 16 January 2019
Dust is one of those frustrating facts of life that everyone must deal with. Dealing with dust often feels like a futile struggle to complete an endless task. As soon as you’ve finished dusting, working hard to eliminate the dust that settles on surfaces and floats through the air, you to end up right back where you started from.
What is Dust?
Before you throw in your favorite dust rag, it might help to understand exactly where dust comes from. While the composition of dust varies from household to household, there are some common components.
- Dirt. The most common element in household dust is plain ol’ dirt. It blows in through windows and doors and gets tracked inside on your family’s shoes.
- Skin cells and hair.Your body is constantly shedding old skin cells and hair it doesn’t need anymore.
- Fabric fibers. Tiny fibers from carpets, clothing, and other fabrics contribute to dust.
- Pet dander.Just like humans, our furry friends also shed skin cells and hair.
- Food debris. Small particles of food get left behind every time you eat.
- Decomposing insects. While it is disgusting to think about, the tiniest pieces of insects living inside your home get left behind as dust particles.
- Soot. If you have a fireplace, soot may be a major contributing factor to airborne dust in your home.
- Miscellaneous. Because there are too many to list, but miscellaneous particles may include, paint, kitchen grease, pollen, mold spores, and more.
The size of dust particles is measured in microns. One micron is smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair. To be detected by the human eye, a particle must measure at least 10 microns. When it comes to dust, only the largest particles can even be seen. The most dangerous particles measure as small as .3 microns. These tiniest of particles cannot be seen with the naked eye and can wreak havoc on your lungs.
Tips for Eliminating Dust
Before you pull out the duster, gloves, and special spring cleaning playlist, here are some dusting basics that will help make dusting a much easier experience. Here are ten easy tips to help you get that pesky dust problem under control.
- Use your vacuum cleaner. To reduce airborne dust it is important to vacuum regularly. However, if you aren’t using the right type of vacuum cleaner, you may just be contributing to the problem. To avoid adding more dust to the air in your home, make sure to use a vacuum with a built-in HEPA filter, and change the filter regularly.
How often should you vacuum? That answer is different for every homeowner. Most people can get by with completing this task once or twice each week. However, if you have dogs, cats, or other pets that shed, you may have to vacuum more frequently.
Since vacuuming temporarily stirs up dust, wear a mask if you are particularly sensitive.
- Dust the surfaces in your home.Use a damp sponge or dust cloth to keep from just moving the dust around. Start with the highest surfaces first and then work your way down to floor level.
Avoid some dry-dusting cleaners that are designed to help attract dust. These products usually contain toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to your health.
- Mop your floors.After you have finished vacuuming and dusting, use a wet mop to clean the floors. Stay away from toxic cleaners and use natural products whenever possible. You don’t need anything fancy. You can use basic soap and warm water to clean your floors.
Add a splash of vinegar to help sanitize surfaces. Don’t be afraid of the smell. It evaporates and disappears quickly.
- Reduce tracked in dirt. To help keep dirt from entering your home, have your family remove their shoes when they enter. Also, well-placed doormats will help keep dirt from spreading throughout the whole house.
- Weatherproof your home. You can minimize the amount of dust and dirt that gets into your home by weatherproofing entrances and windows and sealing drafty gaps and cracks. This will help save you money on your heating and cooling bills, too.
- Change your bedsheets. Make sure you change and launder your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. This is one easy way to help prevent dust accumulation.
- Cut down on clutter. Keep your home as tidy and clutter-free as possible. Clutter shelters places for dust to accumulate. Keeping the clutter at bay will also cut down on your regular dusting time.
- Get rid of carpets. If you are considering redecorating, choose a carpet-free decor. Choose hard or laminate or wood flooring to replace carpeting. Carpets are major dust collectors and eliminating them will help eliminate airborne dust.
- Eat dinner at the table. Not only will it help bring your family together, it will cut down on dust. By eating at the table, less food debris will fall to the floor and potentially attract insects. Insect parts and food debris are major contributors to airborne dust.
- Use a high-quality air filter. If your home uses forced air for heating and cooling, be sure to change your filters regularly. For extra filtration, consider using an air purifier. For the highest level of protection from dust, chemicals, and other allergens, choose an air purifier with a combination HEPA and carbon filtration, such as the Austin Air HealthMate 400
- Air Cleaners that utilize ozone are not recommended. These purifiers do not remove airborne dust particles and ozone can potentially irritate your lungs.
Is Dust Unsafe?
Sure the accumulation of dust is unattractive, but is it dangerous? Most dust is rather innocuous. However, dust can sometimes be a serious health concern for some people.
- Allergies. Some individuals develop sensitivity to dust particles, particularly to dust mites, the tiny insects that live in standing dust.
- Dangerous substances. In some cases, household dust can contain dangerous substances like asbestos, silica, and lead. Some studies have also found significant amounts of arsenic and DDT in household dust.
- Contagious illness. Some contagious viruses and bacteria become attached to dust particles and can cause exposure.
- Toxins. Cigarette smoke, flame retardants, and household chemicals can all contribute to health problems and are often found in airborne dust particles.
- Infants and small children. Harmful substances in dust pose a particular hazard to babies and toddlers whose small bodies and proximity to the ground can lead to more concentrated exposure. Also, since babies and small children frequently put things in their mouths, this can increase exposure.
Recommended air cleaners for dust concerns:
Austin Air HealthMate 400 Standard
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