Household dust can cause a wide range of issues. For some people, it can irritate their airways and cause coughing and sneezing. For others, it can make their hayfever worse and irritate your eyes. The effect of dust can even be more serious than that. Dust particles can trigger asthma attacks and cause breathing difficulties in those who have pre-existing conditions.
The reasons for needing to reduce the amount of dust in your home are clear. But how do you do it? Well that’s what we’re here to find out. After reading this you’ll have a clear idea on how to make your home happier and healthier. Let’s get started!
Dusting the right way
Many people will clean their home then look at their surfaces the next day and see that they are still covered in dust. The reason could be that you’re not dusting in the right way. Here we look at some simple tips to help you out.
One of the best things that you can do is clean from the top down. If you’ve dusted all of your furniture but then clean your ceiling fans then a lot of that dust is going to fall on the exact place that you’ve just cleaned. With each room you go in, start with the highest possible surface and work your way down.
When you dust your home, you should aim to catch the dust instead of spreading it around. To do this you’re best using a damp microfiber cloth instead of feather dusters. You can then rinse out your cloth when it becomes too dirty. A dry cloth will often just push dust off surfaces, creating a problem elsewhere whereas dust will cling to a damp cloth.
You can’t be expected to clean every inch of your home every day but there are a few areas which often get left behind. This is because they are areas that remain unseen and can therefore they can be forgotten about while dust builds up.
This includes cleaning behind large pieces of furniture. This is often where large clumps of dust can settle and accumulate. This includes under beds, behind sofas and any other piece of furniture that you can access. Doing this at least once a month, along with regular cleaning, is going to make a lot of difference.
Another hidden area where a lot of dust can accumulate is in air ducts. Every so often you’ll need to take off the cover, wipe it down and then vacuum the entrance to the air duct. A lot of dirt and grime can build up here and it makes it worse that air will constantly be passing over it.
If you any type of filter in your home then ensure that they are receiving regular cleaning and/or replacing. The same goes for any extractor fans you may have. These can get filthy very quickly and you should keep an eye on them with frequent maintenance checks.
Buy an air purifier
Aside from cleaning your home, the best way to reduce dust is by using an air purifier. When cleaning it’s almost impossible to remove all of the dust and pollutants that are in the air but that’s what a high-efficiency particulate air filter is going to help you with.
Air filters work by drawing air through a filter. That internal filter is going to capture dust (as well as many other types of pollutants) then a fan will be able to recirculate that cleaner air throughout your home. There are many different types of filter and some are a lot more than effective than others.
While higher quality filters can help to improve air quality in a number of different ways, almost all of them will be able to reduce the amount of dust in your home. These are generally large particles and when they are sucked into the purifier, they are easily caught in the filter.
This does mean that the filter will eventually become clogged and lose its effectiveness. It’s important that you complete regular maintenance to ensure it remains efficient. With some filters they can be manually cleaned and then reused, other filters are can’t be cleaned and would instead need to be replaced.
How can an air purifier improve my health?
As we’ve already mentioned, dust can cause a wide range of problems such as triggering asthma attacks. If you have any asthma sufferers in your home then you’ll know the effects of dust in terms of agitating their airways. As well as reducing this common irritant, there is also more than just dust that an air purifier can remove.
They will also help to remove allergens from the air. If you’re a hay fever sufferer or have any pet allergies then this could be vital in improving your health. A high quality filter is going to be able to remove pollen and pet dander from the air.
Another great benefit of an air purifier is being able to reduce smoke particles. This will be particularly useful if there are any smokers in the house or if any guests have smoked. It will also help to reduce the odors from smoking but also generally unpleasant odors from your property. They can reduce smaller airborne particles but it’s important to note they aren’t 100% effective.
As well as these fantastic qualities, HEPA filters inside purifiers can also reduce even more sinister particles. It can help to reduce radon gas which can be an issue in some homes due to its carcinogenic properties. In older properties, it can also be used to remove any asbestos particles should that become a problem.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) can also be removed by filters. These are particles that, over time, become removed from the likes of paint, furnishing and aerosols. VOC’s can cause a series of issues such as a sore throat and eyes, as well as nausea. They have also been linked to much more serious issues, such as leukemia.
What should I look for in an air purifier?
Not all purifiers are the same and not all filters are equal either. There are a few key features that you’ll want to look out for such as the CADR rating. This is the clean air delivery rate and will determine the speed that the purifier is going to operate at. You’ll want to look for a figure of 300 or more.
The capacity is a crucial feature. Using a small air purifier in a large room simply isn’t going to be very efficient. Each air purifier should state the amount of space it is effective in, usually measured in square feet. Ensure you’re getting a purifier suitable for your home.
While other types of filter can be effective, ideally you should be opting for a HEPA filter. For any particle measuring 0.3 microns, a HEPA filter should be able to remove at least 99.97% of them. This will include the likes of dander and pollen. You should be looking for true HEPA filters as some will state that they are a “HEPA-type” of filter when they don’t have the same level of quality.
Additional dusting and cleaning tips
If you have rugs in your home then it’s unlikely that vacuuming alone is going to get all of the dust out of them. The best idea is to take your rug out of your home and beat and shake it. The best way to do it is to hang it over something like a clothesline. It can be beaten with any type of blunt instrument and this will remove most of the dust and debris out of it.
If you are sensitive to the effects of dust then carpets can present a huge problem. They collect a huge amount of dust and it can be hard for a vacuum cleaner to get rid of it all. As you walk over it, this dust can be kicked up into the air.
If could be worth considering ripping out your carpets and putting down some hard floors. They don’t collect anywhere near the same level of dust and are also a lot easier to clean. This can be an expensive solution but one that can dramatically reduce the dust in your home.
You should keep windows closed as much as you can. It is said that approximately half of the dust in our homes from outside. Due to this, you want to keep your windows closed as much as you can. This can be difficult in warmer climates but a better idea is to invest in an air conditioning machine.
It’s important to note that there are key differences between an air purifier and an air conditioner and you shouldn’t expect a conditioner to clean the air in the same was a purifier can. A good air conditioner will prevent you from needing to open the windows and let all that dust in.
Box or bag items
Dust is going to settle on almost any surface. The more surfaces that it has to cling too, the more it is going to collect and the harder it’s going to be to clean all of that dust away. One way to reduce this is too box and bag any loose items, especially in cupboards. This makes it easy to not only clear away the dust but also remove the box or bag and clean around it.
Mats and shoes
A surprise source for a lot of dust is from people’s shoes. This can then easily rub off on carpets and hard surfaces. To combat that, it’s a great idea to have a heavy-duty doormat outside of your home where people can clean their shoes before entering. It’s also a good idea to ask people to take their shoes off and leave them by the door to stop bringing in dust.
Clean bedding often
It doesn’t sound nice but it’s true that your bedsheets and pillowcases are a perfect breeding ground for dust and dust mites. Not only that but due to nighttime sweating, bacteria can also develop rapidly and can lead to many different health issues. It’s recommended that you wash your bedding weekly.