The average american home produces 40 pounds of dust a year! That’s a lot. Depending on the number of people in your home this number could be lower or higher for your home. Let’s take a look at some ways you can clean the dust in your home more efficiently and some ways you can reduce the amount floating around in your home.
Think of all the dust circulating through the air in your home at a given time. Now remember how your heating and air conditioning system works to keep your home comfortable. Conditioned air is blown into each room of your home while a return air vent is pulling air into the furnace. This means some of the dust in the air is bound to make it’s way to your furnace filter. With a quality, right sized filter and regular filter changes you can reduce some of the dust being pushed back into your home.
We discourage homeowners however from going overboard with their furnace filter selection. Using too high of a MERV value filter can restrict the air flow on your furnace and cause more problems than benefits. A MERV 7 or 8 pleated one inch filter will capture most dust, dust mites and mold particles. This type of filter is what most HVAC systems are built to utilize. Adding surface area to a filter allows increase filtration without added resistance of airflow. If you suffer from allergies we strongly recommend an Aprilaire filter system. This will not only capture more particulates from your home’s air, but keep your equipment cleaner. See the pictures below from Aprilaire of how their product performs. The first is of an indoor air conditioning coil after poor filter care and the second is a furnace fan with a Aprilaire filter system in place.
If you have a furnace with a energy efficient variable speed fan we’d also suggest adjusting the fan setting to “ON” rather than “Auto” this will increase how much the heating and cooling system is filtering your home’s air. This will also keep the air in your home mixing and evening out the temps in your home.
Vacuums with HEPA Filters minimize the amount of dust redistributed when vacuuming your home. Keep an eye on the canister or bag and empty or replace when it’s time. Don’t push the limit with this part, it usually just means the suction power of your vacuum will be reduced and the quality of the cleaning will be adversely affected. Also make sure to keep the brush head clean to ensure your vacuum can clean efficiently.
There are just some fabric or textiles that are necessary. When that is the case make sure they are cleaned whether it be by vacuum or wash. When you have the option to avoid textiles it can improve the cleanliness of your home. Carpeting is a trap for dust, pet dander, the skin each person sheds a day and the dust mites feed on it. Consider hard floors that are easier to clean and keep clean.
Dust mites also thrive in humid areas. Running your air conditioner pulls the humidity out of the air in your home making it harder for them to survive. Some thermostats offer options to prioritize reduction of humidity to dehumidify your home better.
Dust can accumulate just about anywhere and that means places that are tough to reach and see. Make sure to dust ceiling fan blades which will accumulate a surprising amount of dust and can easily redistribute the dust when running. Shelves, picture frames, decor and knickknacks are all places for dust to rest. Remember to dust these areas or consider reducing them.
Cleaning can take up a great deal of time, but if you clean regularly the task will not be as daunting. Also consider breaking up the different cleaning tasks. Dust one day and vacuum the next if you don’t have time to tackle all tasks.
Technology has made cleaning easier as well. Things like Swiffers and robotic vacuum cleaners can help reduce your cleaning load and keep the dust at bay.
Controlling the dust in your home is important to your families health. If you would like to look at some options that can improve how your furnace and air conditioner can help remove dust and improve your in-home air quality complete our online contact form.