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Even with thorough housekeeping, it seems that some homes accumulate dust faster than others. Here are some of the main culprits -- and how to combat them.

Summer is here, and that means windows and doors will be open wide -- and dust will be making its way inside. Just when you think your house is clean, a beam of sunlight comes across the living room, highlighting all those dust particles dancing in the air, just waiting to settle on every available surface.

Even the tidiest homes accumulate dust, which is a collection of tiny but solid particles from the surrounding environment -- hair, dirt, dead skin, decomposing insect carcasses, and other nasties. One of the big contributors to household dust is the dust mite, which feeds on organic debris such as dead skin cells and decomposing insects. Dust mites and their excrement are highly allergenic.

Some homes have more of a tendency toward dust build-up than others. Here are some of the contributing factors:

Synthetic feather dusters just disturb the dust, making the surface appear clean, but it quickly settles again as if you'd never dusted. If you love traditional dusters, get a good quality ostrich feather duster and maintain it properly so it stays in top shape. Otherwise, use a microfiber cloth, which leaves no traces of dust behind.
This is an obvious one -- and it's hard to avoid in the summer, especially if you're averse to air conditioning -- but If you leave your home open, it is more likely to collect dust. Pet dander, insects, pollen and dirt all come in from the outdoors. If you're a sucker for fresh summer air, you might have to learn to live with dust.

Construction is very dusty business. Some builders have the ducts cleaned before the home is sold, but others don't, meaning that drywall dust, fiberglass and other construction debris might be trapped in the air ducts. Even older homes that are surrounded by new construction are likely to experience this to some degree as debris makes its way inside the house. Duct cleaning is arguably unnecessary unless the home has recently been under construction, because the actual ducts should be a dust-free environment. Still, many believe that regularly cleaning them will improve air quality as dust particles may have become trapped inside. Change or clean furnace and air conditioner filters regularly because if they are dirty, they will blow dust into the home. Many people opt for hypoallergenic air filters to further maintain the air quality in their homes.

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Pet dander is a big dust contributor. Pets are also more likely to track in dirt and pollen, contributing further to the dust accumulation. Brush and bathe your pets regularly to limit the amount of shedding.

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Broken down fabric fibers and dust mites feeding on organic debris in couches and chairs cause these old furnishings to attract dust. Wash all household fabrics (curtains, bedding, couch covers, cushions etc..), regularly, depending on their use, with bedding being washed once each week. Heavy curtains attract and trap dust; replacing them with lighter, airier ones will significantly reduce dust buildup.

Wall to wall carpeting is a dust magnet. Make sure to vacuum at least once a week, and empty your vacuum bag each time. Even a partially full vacuum bag can blow dust back into the room. If you're thinking of remodeling, consider replacing carpeting with tile, wood or laminate flooring, and use an area rug instead. Area rugs can be easily cleaned by beating them regularly outdoors. Also, wipe down baseboards, which quickly accumulate dust. This will keep the floor dust-free almost twice as long.

  • Graham Macdunough

    We recently had twins and when we brought them home they were having a severe allergic reaction to dust mites. We contacted an indoor air quality expert, and $10,000 later our house is dust mite free and dust mite proof!

    Apparently, dust mites are microscopic and very difficult to kill/remove. And unless your allergic to them, they are completely harmless. We were told that our children would most likely outgrow the allergies. Hopefully this is true because 100% of schools and public buildings will have dust mites. They're just a part of life.

    Here are a few sites that were helpful to us:

    A few helpful things we found:
    -Seal bare floors in basements and garages.
    -Attach an electric air cleaner to the furnace.
    -Vacuum flooring daily.
    -REMOVE dust from articles and furniture.
    -Reduce the humidity levels in your house.
    -Clean bedding and bedroom materials frequently.

    Hope that helps!


  • Charles-the-Remodeler

    A huge dust problem in many areas of the country (mostly the South) is the return air ducts to the furnace/AC. Some of the duct work runs through dusty areas between floors in the house and the attic and actually suck in dust. Your return air ducts MUST be compleatly sealed. I told a customer this problem once and he later called to say the dust problem was solved and his energy bills dropped 50%!

  • data recovery

    Properly clean room is good for health if the dust is present in the room then there will be more chances to ill. Also the room looks very dirty if the dirt is present in the room .so properly clean the room to remove dust.
    Thanks for posting very interesting and useful thing.

  • Brenda

    It's nice to know Http:// where all of this dust comes from, now I can try and avoid it.

  • LJ

    Empty the vacuum cleaner bag each time??? Do you seriously think ANYONE has the time to do that? Not to mention the fact that many bags that are virtually sealed and not intended to be emptied? I pay about $20 for a box of 6 vacuum cleaner bags and have no intention of using one each time I vacuum. Do you have OCD? I have never heard of anyone doing this.

  • roseyoung

    One fact the article didn't mention is if you heat with oil you will definitley have a dusty house even if you dust 2=3 times everyday For some reason oil heat makes a lot of dust. It probably settles in your lungs as well.

  • Sam

    You missed something that might not be obvious- Wheelchairs! Combined with living in the country, that thing tracks in more dust than I could keep up with in two lifetimes.

  • 7 Comments / 1 Pages

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