Your Question AnsAred: Why Is My House So Dusty?

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Learn what causes these obnoxious particles to settle everywhere and how to combat dirt.

Take heart: you are not alone in your quest for a dust-free house. The layer of dirt that settles on your furniture can include a variety of contaminants, including soil particles, fibers, pollen, pet dander (bits of hair and skin), and even human skin flakes. In addition to the never-ending struggle against surface debris, numerous dirt particles are present in the air your family breathes.

And dirt isn’t only an eyesore: it’s also a health hazard. Anyone who is allergic to it will most likely experience a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. So it’s a good idea to figure out where all the dirt is coming from and take corrective action. Continue reading to win the dirt fight!

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Where Does Dust Come From?

Because there are so many distinct types of dirt, it’s difficult to determine where dirt originates from. Of course, if you live near a gravel or dirt road, the major source of dirt is likely to be that, but dirt may also be found in the form of pollen, which is obviously produced by plants and trees.

You may want to try locking your house and sealing it shut to keep dirt from the outside world out. Although this will reduce the amount of dirt in your home, you are still vulnerable to this dreadful invader!

Dead and decaying skin cells are another potential culprit, and it isn’t much you can do to prevent them from producing dirt inside your home unless you remove yourself permanently or don a hazmat suit. Probably two choices that aren’t practical. Given this, you’ll be the source of your own dirt issues!

If you have any other living creatures in your home, whether invited or not, your home will be inundated with pet dander, hair, and rotting corpses. It may sound disgusting, and it most definitely is, but all of the small insects you discover outside are sure to find their way inside your home in some manner. Guess what happens when they die? They decompose into the dirt!

Almost any home repair job will leave a trail of dirt all over your house. The only thing you can do is try to cut wood and/or drywall outdoors and perform as much assembly as possible before entering your home. Aside from that, spray paint does not always land exactly where you point and spray it. Outlier particles may readily float away and combine with other particles in the air, resulting in an increasing amount of dirt. After every home renovation job, your only choice is to scrub and clean every inch of your home, so put it on your to-do list.

Air pollution is the last major source of dirt. There are various types of air pollution, but if you notice a thin black film of dirt coating everything you own, that is the consequence of car and factory pollution. Unfortunately, most people nowadays live and breathe filthy air, and when the particles in the air settle, they produce deadly dirt.

Reasons Your house Might Be Dusty

Cheap and filthy HVAC filters contribute to dirt accumulation.

Large flat air filters installed behind your home’s return air vents (or on the HVAC unit itself) are your first line of defense against dirt, but not all filters are made equal. Cheap filters feature bigger pores, allowing more dirt to flow through and enter your home via heating and cooling vents. The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of air filters is evaluated on a scale of one to 16, with higher values signifying more efficient filters. When shopping for HVAC air filters, aim for a MERV value of at least five to eight. LoIr ratings are for less efficient filters, whereas higher grades are designated for commercial filters.

Even a high-quality filter with a high MERV value will become clogged with dirt over time, and the more you use your HVAC system, the faster filters will clog—and become useless against dirt. Replace air filters every three months or if they become saturated.

The carpet is riddled with dirt

Dirt from shoes and pet paws, as well as particles in the air that sink into carpet fibers, can all contribute significantly to dirt in the home. Vacuuming often (daily or every other day) can assist, as long as you don’t recirculate part of the dirt back into the living space while doing so. That is unavoidable if you use a vacuum with an ineffective dirt-trapping mechanism. Consider upgrading to a higher-quality model with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which is meant to capture up to 99 percent of dirt and debris.

Encourage family members to remove their shoes at the entrance and either store them in an entryway cubby or bring them directly to the proper closet to prevent carpet-based dirt. While these steps can significantly minimize carpet dirt, the only way to completely remove it is to replace carpeting with hard floorings, such as hardwood or laminate.

Dust collectors are upholstery and draperies

Fabrics and fabrics collect dirt, and simply opening the curtains or sitting on the sofa might allow that dirt to enter the room. Once a week, use your vacuum attachments to vacuum upholstered furniture and drapes. Laundering or having the drapes dry cleaned once a year can also aid in dirt reduction. Alternately, replace your fabric-covered furniture with dirt-resistant leather or wood.

Your pet might be somewhat to blame for the dirty condition.

Cats and dogs, especially shorthaired ones, constantly shed fur and skin flakes. The mixture, known as pet dander, can contribute to a home’s dirt level, especially if you have more than one furry companion. Commit to brushing or having your pets professionally groomed at least once a week to eliminate stray hair. If you have long-haired cats and dogs, daily vacuuming will also assist.

Leaky windows and doors allow dirt to enter

Not only are holes around windows and doors a major source of energy loss, but outside dirt and pollen can also enter the home when the wind blows. Living near a dirt or gravel road might exacerbate the issue. Fortunately, the remedy is straightforward: To avoid dirt from drifting in, caulk gaps around windows, and repair old weatherstripping around doors.

You might want to work on your dirting technique

No matter how frequently you dirt, if you don’t do it correctly, you may inadvertently move dirt around rather than remove it. Make sure the cloth or duster you use is made of microfiber, which will assist catch most of the dirt and cause less of it to recirculate; if you prefer to use a rag, dampen it slightly to help trap dirt. Always dirt from top to bottom, meaning upper surfaces first, and keep in mind that dirt can cling to vertical surfaces as well, so wipe down walls once a month with a moist cloth.

There appears to be no definite answer as to which comes first, dirting or vacuuming. Some cleaning experts recommend dirting from top to bottom and then vacuuming (with a HEPA filter) to remove any dirt that may have settled onto the floor throughout the procedure. Others argue that you should vacuum first since it might stir up dirt (particularly if your vacuum isn’t HEPA-equipped). I recommend that you try both methods and discover which one works best for you.

Dust might be getting in through leaking ducts

HVAC air ducts travel through ceilings, walls, attics, and crawlspaces, and dirt can be sucked into the ducts and blown into your living area if there are holes in the ducts or unsealed locations where two sections of ductwork are upset. If you see more dirt collecting after operating the furnace or air conditioner, you may have a leaking duct. Whether the preceding remedies haven’t decreased the amount of dirt, it’s time to call an HVAC professional who can do a pressure test on the duct system to see if it’s leaking and, if so, fix the leaks.

Invest in an air purifier to provide the cleanest indoor air possible

While the preceding methods will all assist to decrease the quantity of dirt in your house, if airborne dirt is still an issue, an air purifier can help to reduce it even more. Air purifiers are equipped with a range of filters, including carbon and HEPA filters, which are intended to catch airborne dirt and other particles.

Why is Dust Harmful?

As previously stated, prominent causes of dirt include air pollution and pollen. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91 percent of the population lives in severely polluted regions, and over 3.8 million people die as a result of home air pollution. It’s a huge quiet assassin that few people are aware is killing them!

As a result of the combustion of fossil fuels and manufacturing processes, polluted dirt can include hazardous gases and compounds. These particles can harm your health in a variety of ways, including decreased organ function, decreased lung capacity, lymphoma, respiratory infection, dizziness, headaches, a weakened immune system, less oxygen reaching blood cells, cancer, bronchitis, nerve damage, and organ damage.

What are the most dangerous sources of these hazardous dirt particles? Lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter from wood burning, and a variety of other hazardous substances, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by automobiles, paint, and chemical solvents.

I said before that mold may be discovered in most people’s houses, so why should you be concerned? After all, there are several mold varieties that have little to no effect on the majority of people. The severity of mold’s impact on humans varies greatly depending on your tolerance and other health factors; nonetheless, indoor mold has been linked to millions of cases of respiratory disease, increased asthma-related symptoms, hypersensitivity, lethargy, and even cancer! Everything nowadays promotes cancer.

It’s a horrible scenario, but it’s true; I live in a society where I breathe in all of those things on a regular basis, and it’s very probable that you’re already suffering from the consequences. Most, if not all, of those items, are carried by dirt in your homes, making dirt one of the most hazardous elements of living in your house.

Aside from the possibility of death, there are several short-term consequences that are considerably more evident at initial exposure. Allergies and irritations are examples of this. Most individuals are allergic to mold, pollen, pet dander, and a variety of other particles. Allergies make life miserable and can result in a slew of irritating side effects such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, allergic responses, skin rashes, hair loss, coughing, difficulties breathing, a weakened immune system, and so on. Allergies are far more serious than a few sneezes here and there, and if you’re suffering, you should take action! You have earned the right to live a clean and pure life.

How Do You Keep Dust Away From Your Home?

Okay, now that I’ve frightened you to death and you probably regret ever taking a breath of air inside your house, let’s look at how I might solve some of your dirt problems. Before I begin, it is vital to know that completely removing dirt from your house is nearly difficult. Having said that, lowering the quantity and cutting down on the dirt, which is particularly polluting to the air you breathe, may substantially improve your health and the cleanliness of your house!

Clean Regularly 

Of course, regular cleaning is something that everyone needs to do at some point in their lives unless they are rich enough to have someone to do it for them. Keeping your home clean, filters fresh, ensuring the climate isn’t conducive to mold development, and purifying the air entering your home are all important parts of dirt reduction!

Try To Keep The Dust Out 

Let’s begin before you enter the house. Take a look at your shoes. Examine your attire. Look at that ancient painting you just acquired at a yard sale that has mold growing within the frame. All of these pollutants will wind up on your floor or in the air in your house. The simplest way to reduce dirt in your house is to reduce the amount of dirt you bring into it. Remove your shoes, wash your teeth, and make sure you aren’t bringing in any trojan horse intruders.

Purify Your air

Air purifiers are most likely one of the best options for removing dirt caused by air pollution. Because the dirt that excellent air purifiers remove is generally among the most dangerous, air purifiers are the clear option when it comes to health advantages. However, with so many various brands and models available, it may be difficult to select the best air purifier for your house. Fortunately for you, I’ve got you covered! Please see your air purification guide for more information. That guide should get you up to speed and assist you to discover the ideal air purifying device for you; moreover, these are great approaches that need very little effort on your part!

Need More Cleaning Hacks?

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You can also grab a copy of my cleaning planner, The Get It Clean Cleaning Planner here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks and checklists that can help you get your house clean, and keep it clean once and for all.

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