Dust is unsightly, and it can trigger allergies and worsen respiratory issues in sensitive individuals. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely eliminate dust from your home because the majority of household dust comes from residents. It is made up of small skin flakes and fibers from clothing and upholstery. There are, however, steps you can take to greatly reduce household dust. Use the tips below to improve your home's air quality.
While regular cleaning is a great way to cut down on the dust in your home, cleaning with the wrong tools can actually make your dust problem worse. The best tools for dusting, like electrostatic cloths and damp rags, actually trap dust particles. Less effective dusting tools, including feather dusters and dry cloths, stir up dust particles rather than removing them.
Where possible, dust surfaces with a cloth rather than vacuuming because vacuuming tends to produce a dust trail. When you do vacuum, choose a vacuum cleaner suited to the surface you are cleaning to maximize dust removal. For carpeted floors and upholstered or rough surfaces, choose a vacuum with a powerful agitator. For bare floors, turn off the agitator.
Regularly changing the filters in your furnace and air conditioner helps clear dust from the air and keeps your system running efficiently. For best results, choose pleated filters rather than fiberglass models because pleated filters are better at trapping dust particles.
Electronic air cleaners use electrostatic attraction to trap airborne particles as these particles circulate through your home's heating and cooling system. These cleaners are better at trapping dust than regular filters and can be particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies and respiratory conditions that make them sensitive to dust and other airborne allergens.
When you clean your home, you stir up dust and other particles. Your HVAC system's filter can trap and remove these particles if they pass through the system. To make this happen, turn on your system's fan while you clean to keep the air circulating and maximize the chances of airborne dust passing through the filter. Make sure, however, to turn off the fan when you are done cleaning to avoid excess wear and tear on your system.
Closets are major sources of dust. Stored items, such as blankets, towels, clothing and other items, produce fibers and collect and shed dust. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your closets can cut down on the dust that stored items generate.
To aid your cleaning efforts, organize stored items and cover them to reduce shedding and keep them free of dust. Where possible, store your belongings in clear plastic boxes. These boxes protect your belongings, allow you to locate what you need quickly and are easy to clean. Additionally, cover hanging items, especially those you do not use every day, with garment bags or plastic bags.
Bedding, carpets and cushions are major dust reservoirs in the home. Not only do they collect dust from the air and from the people who live in the house, but they also shed fibers. While vacuuming is helpful for removing some dust from these items, the best way to clean rugs, cushions, bedspreads, quilts and throws is to take them outside and shake or beat them thoroughly at least once a week. You should also wash sheets, pillowcases, furniture covers and other washable items at least once per week to cut down on dust.