Alas, that subtle irritant in the air that may cause constant sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, or itchy throat. No matter how impeccably clean we keep our homes, dust may seem impossible to eradicate. It may hover around you, rest on your bedding, or sneak behind your closet.
But what if we tell you that keeping your indoor’s air dust-free for a longer period of time is indeed achievable – of course, by following some handy guidelines below. Keep reading our article to learn how to minimize dust in the air and make your home a less polluted place to live.
What Is Dust Made Of?
There isn’t a straightforward answer as dust isn’t made of one single component but rather a myriad of organic and inorganic materials. These include dust mites, dead skin cells, hair cells, textile fibers, paper fibers, particles from other insects, and everything in between. You may even bring dust from outside as your clothes or shoes gather dirt or pollen.
In fact – dust is truly everywhere.
In a compelling Time article, Paloma Beamer, a professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, states: “dust is a hodgepodge of all sorts of things. It would probably be impossible to make a list of all the possible items.”
Humidity & Humidifiers
The key factor determining the survival of specific dust mites is indoor air humidity.
In a nutshell – dry air allows dust to float as it easily carries these tiny particles without anything to weigh them down. Adjusting humidity between forty and sixty percent means there is a sufficient level of moisture to allow gravity to pull the dust particles down as they become slightly heavier by absorbing moisture.
If you want to add moisture back into the air where the climate is quite dry, you can use a humidifier. As it may reduce allergy flare-ups or asthma that are caused by indoor air exposures, this product is a must for allergy or asthma sufferers.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be far more polluted than outdoor air, even in the most industrialized areas. While outdoor pollution results from a combination of fossil fuels coming from vehicles or industries, there are a plethora of other indoor pollutants.
When poorly installed, for instance, heating systems such as a gas furnace or fireplace are one of the main contributors to poor air quality indoors. These can release colorless, odorless, toxic gas, carbon monoxide, or a reddish-brown harmful gas, nitrogen dioxide. Other indoor pollutants are biological agents such as pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, and mold, amongst others. As the wind blows pollutants away in a matter of seconds outdoors, indoor air is more static, which means these nasty little particles are perhaps constantly hovering near you.
Along with proper air ventilation, the best way to reduce their existence is by applying an air purifier to neutralize air by eliminating these harmful particles. Most air purifiers pull air through diverse filters that trap airborne or dust particles.
Check out our comprehensive guide to learn everything about air purifiers and see what brand of air purifier is the best you can choose.
Make Sure to Dust Properly
Even though air purifiers reduce dust, these aren’t going to eliminate the entire problem. In fact, regularly dusting is perhaps the most essential activity that gets most dust. Make sure to use a sponge or damp cloth to wipe down each piece of furniture, one at a time. Avoid using dry cloth as these can just worsen the dust problem, stirring it up and allowing it to rise in the air.
Pay Special Attention to Closets & Your Bedding
Not to disgust you, but there’s an invisible storm of dust coming out of your closet every time you open its doors. That’s right. Dust mites, microscopic creatures that live in places where they can feast on your dead skin cells, penetrate your rich-with-dead-skin-cells clothes, or are simply blown in from outdoors. Be that as it may, minimizing dust is a challenging task as it requires thorough organization of your clothes. Wash your clothes regularly, use plastic containers to store clothes inside, and vacuum once a week to prevent dust activities in the closet.
Another place where your body sheds skin cells is the bed. That’s right. Your bedding is the main source of dust particles inside your bedroom, allowing dust mites to reproduce by constantly providing them with a proper living environment. To minimize dust mite activities on your bed, regularly wash your beddings using warm water.
Preventing dust from gathering in your closet and bed will automatically reduce the chances of it spreading through the air.
Although vacuuming may help you significantly reduce dust, doing it improperly can worsen the indoor air problem. This means that some vacuums can blow dust particles into the air and allow them to hover for hours on end, making it intolerable for people who suffer from allergies.
To prevent this from happening, you might want to use a vacuum that uses a HEPA filter, which may trap almost every dust particle down to 0.3 microns in size. An important thing to consider though is changing the HEPA filter once in three months since they may get clogged.
Replace Your AC Filter Often
Did you know that a dusty AC with a clogged air filter can blow undesirable dust particles back into your home air? When your air filter is clogged, it traps dust particles inside, which, on the other hand, are looking for a way out and release themselves hovering back through the ductwork into your home.
This is why you should replace your AC filter depending on how often you run your air conditioner. If you run it on a daily basis, make sure to change your filter at least once a month.
There – you have all the tips and tricks to help you minimize dust in your home – both on your furniture and the air you breathe. Make sure to apply these guidelines and make your home an enjoyable place to live in instead of leaving it dusty.