Where does dust come from? Most dust is generated by us, our pets and the possessions within our homes. Only a small amount of it wafts in from outdoors or travels in on our clothes. Once we understand that, we can take logical steps to control dust. By doing so, we’ll improve indoor air quality (IAQ), lessen irritants in the air and be on the way to more healthful homes.
What Is Dust?
Dust is composed of particles from skin flakes, pollen, hair, insect parts, minerals and from fibers produced by textiles and carpets. Some dust is also brought in on our clothing and shoes, and some drifts in through doors, windows and cracks in our homes.
How to Control Dust
- Organize closets. Dust not only collects in closets, but it’s also shed by clothing and other items stored there. Minimize places where dust can collect by putting shoes in boxes or clear plastic containers. Put coats in bags or store them in chests so their fibers don’t find their way into the air.
- Vacuum the right way. Vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to capture the smallest dust particles. Turn on the HVAC system fan so it will draw in dust particles as you stir them up from the carpet. Choose a vacuum with an agitator, which is a rotating spiral brush on the bottom of the machine. Upgrade the air filter in your HVAC system to a pleated type that has a minimum-efficiency reporting value (MERV) between 8 and 12.
- Clean with the right supplies. Use an electrostatic cloth or damp cloth for dusting and a damp mop for cleaning hard floor surfaces.
- Install an air cleaner. A whole-house air cleaner installed in the HVAC system does an excellent job of controlling dust.
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