You spent hours cleaning and dusting only to wake up the next day to find a new layer of dust.
How did it get there and why is my house so dusty?
While there is unfortunately no way to entirely get rid of dust, if we can understand what causes it, we can keep our house as dust free as possible.
What Is Dust?
Dust doesn’t come from only one source.
Despite what many people say, dust is not simply dead skin cells.
Instead, it is mostly composed of outside particles, such as dirt, pollen, and soot.
The remainder is from indoor sources such as pet dander and carpet fibers.
Causes of Dust Buildup
Dust doesn’t accumulate at the same rate everywhere.
There are three main culprits for why your house is so dusty:
- Air Filter Issues
- Duct Leaks
By understanding what your home’s problem is you can attack the dust at its source.
High humidity in your home can create a host of problems, including dust and the dreaded dust mites.
Dust mites thrive in humid conditions, absorbing the water in the air to populate and survive.
An easy way to control dust mites is to lower your home’s humidity.
Adding a dehumidifier will also help to reduce the overall amount of dust in your home.
Experts recommend that you keep your home’s relative humidity below 50% for best results.
Air Filter Problems
Cheap, ineffective air filters allow dust particles to get into the ducts and circulate through the house.
S0 how do you ensure that your air filter will catch all of the dust?
We recommend buying HVAC air filters with a MERV rating of 8.
The higher the MERV rating the finer the particles the filter can capture.
It might be tempting to save some money when buying a filter, but cheap filters will only allow dust particulates to get back into your house. The reason your house is so dusty may very well be your air filter.
A major possibility for why your house is so dusty is a leaky duct.
Leaks in your HVAC system’s ducts not only allow conditioned air to escape, but allow dusty, unconditioned to enter your system and be distributed around the rest of your house.
How do you tell if you have a leak in your air ducts?
There are several signs:
High Energy Bills
It is estimated that the average home can lose up to 20% of its forced air flow due to poor duct connections and seals.
However, if your energy bill is suddenly higher than normal, you may have a serious leak that needs to be addressed.
Hot and Cold Zones
If you have air duct leaks, you may notice that certain rooms in your house are warmer or colder than others.
This may mean that conditioned air is getting lost somewhere along the way.
Why Is Your Home So Dusty?
Finding what is causing the excessive amounts of dust in your home requires some detective work.
Our advice is to start small and address quick fixes first.
The easiest way to reduce dust in your house is to change your HVAC system’s air filter.
A high quality air filter will go a long way towards reducing the dust in your house. It’s also an inexpensive fix.
Swap out your current filter for a new one, and if you are still experiencing the same levels of dust, move on to addressing the humidity levels in your home.
Start by buying a hygrometer, which will tell you what the humidity levels are in your home. They are inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store.
If your humidity levels are off – most experts recommend your home’s humidity to be around 50% – try investing in a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Finally, if neither fix works, it may be time to call in a professional.
Certainly, hiring an HVAC professional is going to cost you money. However, they can not only help you get to the root cause of your dust problem, but can also provide a solution.
Tips For Reducing Dust
In addition to the obvious choice of using a duster, there are several additional actions you can take to reduce the amount of dust in your house.
Deep Clean Your Carpets
Vacuuming your carpets is a two-sided coin. On one side, you are collecting dust that has accumulated, however, you are also stirring up dust that has settled to find a new home somewhere else in your house.
To truly reduce dust levels, we recommend steam cleaning your carpets. Instead of only relocating the dust, you’ll remove it for good.
Leave The Shoes Behind
An overwhelming amount of dust is generated from the dirt that is brought into your home on the bottoms of your shoes – some experts estimating up to 80%.
For a quick way to reduce dust in your house, leave the shoes at the door.
Use The Right Equipment
Leave the feather dusters in the 1950’s.
It may look like they are collecting dust, but they are nowhere near as efficient as your vacuum’s soft bristle attachment and a damp (microfiber if you can find it) rag.
Instead of collecting dust, a feather duster will simply push the dust around.
Work Your Way Down
There’s no way around it. You’re going to miss some dust.
Instead, start at the top and work your way down. That way when dust falls down from higher areas, you can get it later, instead of having to start all over again.
Each house is unique. Unfortunately, there is no one single answer to the question of why is my house is so dusty?
Before you can eliminate the dust in your house, you need to figure out why it’s there in the first place. All the dusting in the world won’t help if you don’t get to the root of the problem.
If you have any questions, or any tips of your own, please reach out and let us know!