Nobody likes having dust in their homes. While it’s easy to mop it away and vacuum clean the corners and surfaces beneath the furniture, eliminating dust from the air is a completely different story. With a good and strong vacuum cleaner, you can remove a lot of dust from your home surfaces and carpets, however, no matter what you do, some dust particles will remain in the air. And if you or your family members suffer from dust allergies, you’ll probably want to reduce the amounts of dust present in the air.
Lucky for you, there are products like that. For example, a proper air purifier design for dust removal might be the right solution to your problems.
What Is Dust Made Of?
In one of our previous articles, we wrote in detail about the origins of dust and why there is so much of it in our houses. If you are interested in this topic, we recommend you take a closer look. Here, we will only briefly explain some of the most important elements of dust, as it is crucial to understand the ways how an air purifier can reduce the amount of dust in your home.
While dust may seem quite uniform from our perspective – the particles that fall on our furniture, it is actually a collection of many different things from an enormous number of resources.
Most of them are coming from outside, and we or our pets usually bring them in, or it enters through the windows. These are usually pollen, organic debris, soil, or basically any small enough particles to either stick to us or fly through the air, such as exhaust gasses. Most of these are not dangerous to human health in particular. However, there are some more dangerous outdoor resources such as arsenic, pesticides, or lead.
Other sources of dust are dust mites, decomposing insect bodies, or cigarette smoke. Our and our pets’ skin, hair, and nails that fall onto the ground tend to decompose there and become food for dust mites, thus creating more and more dust. Especially dangerous are food leftovers that end up on or beneath the couch, as these also attract insects and dust mites alike, thus piling up several dust sources in one place.
Particles that comprise dust can vary in size and range from 0.01 microns to 1000 microns, and our sensitivity to them can vary depending on their size. Those of larger size usually remain in our nostrils, and we eventually get rid of them, but those smaller ones can pose a greater danger as they easily travel through our nostrils, throat, and lungs.
Do Air Purifiers Help With Dust?
Suppose you want to reduce the amount of these dust particles in the air. In that case, you should consider using an air purifier, as air purifiers trap these into their filters before they settle on the furniture and other objects lying around the house.
This doesn’t mean that there will be no dust in your home, nor that your dust-related work is done here.
This simply means that you and your family will breathe fewer dust particles. However, you will still have to regularly vacuum clean, mop the dust, and of course, clean the filter on your purifier.
The most important element of the air purifier is the HEPA filter. This is a very famous and very old filter design (invented in the 1940s) for scientific laboratories in Manhattan. Its purpose was to protect scientists working in labs from radioactive particles. Since HEPA filters have proven to be extremely efficient, they eventually were built into vacuum cleaners and air filters for home use.
A proper HEPA filter should collect particles as small as 0.3 microns. These are some of the smallest existing dust particles, and they are very difficult to trap, yet, they are dangerous for human health, as they are very easy to breathe in. Thanks to the high sensitivity of these filters, they are considered a little below 100% efficient (99.97%).
What an air purifier basically does is that it pulls in the air together with small dust particles. As the air passes through the filter, thanks to the filter’s fibers thickness and high sensitivity, the dust particles stick onto it. These are exactly those dust particles that otherwise end up on your interior surfaces and cause allergic reactions that can sometimes go as far as to cause the symptoms of asthma. Using an air purifier with a good HEPA filter can reduce the number of dust particles in your home significantly.
For a somewhat higher price, you can purchase an advanced version of HEPA filters called BioGS. These use a special type of bioengineered fibers, as opposed to standard glass or paper materials and they prevent even mold and other types of air contamination. They can work a longer time than regular filters without losing their efficiency.
What to Do about Dust in the Meantime?
While it may take you a while to pick the best air purifier for your home, you will still want to get rid of the dust from the air in your home. There are several things you can do in the meantime before the purifier of your choice arrives at your home.
Primarily, source control. Source control is very important as bigger particles of dust remain on the floor usually and the air purifier can not do anything about them. These are usually too big to remain in the air, so they just keep on circling and falling back on the floor. Later, as we walk around, we shred them into smaller particles and carry them around the house, making more and more dirt.
So what does source control mean when we are talking about dust? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like – you need to get rid of the source of your indoor pollution.
This can be done through vacuum cleaning, dusting, and washing your home, but while you are doing that, you should watch out not to splash that dust around your home again.
Also, you can try to replace the HVAC filter on your vacuum cleaner as soon as you start noticing that it’s not pulling as efficiently. This is essential for proper indoor dust removal. Vacuuming with a cluttered filter basically just puts the dust particles back into the air.
When it comes to preventative measures to ensure that dust from the outside is not entering your home, you should try implementing some new habits. E.g, change your clothes and take your shoes off before you enter your home, or at least immediately after you enter. This will likely reduce the amounts of pollen, soil, and mold that enter your home. You should ask your guests to do the same thing if possible. Also, if you have a pet, consider whipping their feet before you enter your home.
Which Air Purifiers are the Best for Removing Dust?
Remember how we mentioned that it’s important for you to know what dust is made of in order to make the best possible decision when buying your air purifier? Well, now that you have all this knowledge, you can make your own evaluation of the effectiveness of the air purifying technology when it comes to dealing with dust particles. This way it will be easy for you to figure out which type of air purifier best suits your needs, space, and budget.
If an air purifier has a HEPA filter, it should be a go-to solution if you want it to be efficient with air dust particles. Also, the mechanical filter is a good option. However, there is a slight possibility of these types of filter growing mold and different types of bacteria, so if possible, we advise you to opt-in for the BioGS.
Of course, don’t forget that your filters require regular changing, so make sure to check them every once in a while and replace them if they have become saturated.
When it comes to electrostatic filters, also known as ionizers, we recommend that you avoid them. While they may come as a more affordable solution at times, this financial perk comes with a different price – the harmful ozone they produce. Mechanical filters are overall much more efficient than electrostatic ones.
Finally, there is also the technology we didn’t mention so far. This one is considered even better than HEPA filters when it comes to its efficiency against dust – The Molecule Air Purifier with Photo Electrochemical Oxidation Technology, also known as PECO, can literally do miracles for hyper-allergenic pollutants, mold, and volatile compound chemicals (VOCs) that exist in indoor air.
So, do air purifiers help with dust? Most definitely yes. However, not any purifier is a good solution for every home. Also, before buying your purifier, make sure to read this article in detail and make an informed decision. Don’t mix up ionizers that release harmful ozone into the air with actual HEPA filter-powered air purifiers that help reduce your indoor air dust.