Cue the classic Kansas song my friends, we are going to talk dust today. A question I get almost daily is why is my house so dusty? I want to spend a little time going through your house with you looking for answers to that question. First, what is dust?
By definition dust is a fine particle of solid matter such as dirt, pet dander, dead skin cells, and other things picked up by the wind. Winning the war against dust can be tough so after we find some of the causes for the ever so dusty house; we will take a look at some of the fixes.
The first question I always pose when it comes to dust is how old is our subject home. In older homes where windows and doors have not been updated this is the first place to begin our quest to reduce dust. Older windows are not sealed as well as the windows of today and you may be getting as many as 50-60 air changes per day in the home. An air change is when the indoor and outdoor air switch with each other. In newer, tighter homes we typically see one or two air changes a day. A high amount of air changes bringing outside air into the home can cause dust issues. While it is not something we do here, updating the windows and doors in your home can drastically reduce dust.
Next up, what is happening with the duct work in your home? You’re going to need a thermal camera to answer that question. Luckily, I have one that I’ll come use at your house if you ask nicely. We use thermal imaging to see if our ducts are leaking at the connection points. If the duct work has any holes in it we could be pulling in dust, dirt, mold pollen and allergens from the attic into the home. When the air conditioning is on it is moving about 10 MPH through the duct system. Any holes in the duct work create a vacuum cleaner effect sucking in whatever is around them. Sealing a duct system properly will drastically reduce dust in the home. The filter you use on the air conditioner is getting bypassed by having holes in the ducts.
Speaking of filters, the next question is what kind of filter are you using on the unit? I did a very detailed post awhile back on air filters and air cleaners should you want to really delve into different types of filters you can give a click here. The bottom line is the better the filter the cleaner your air is going to be.
There are a few other things that you as a home owner can do to help reduce dust. If you have carpet, get rid of it. Run your fingers along the top of the door frames in the house. Do you feel a gap between the door frame and the wall? If so, take a caulking gun and lay a bead of caulk along the top of the door frame, that little gap lets air into the house from the attic. Last DIY tip, your local home improvement store will have rubber gaskets that go behind the cover plates for all the light switches and outlets. If you can turn a screw driver this is a fix you can do. Remove the covers, set the gasket in place and screw the cover back on.
Alright friends, Romans and countrymen my time here is complete for now, the road is calling my name and I am again losing sleep wondering if a little person who was a psychic, committed a crime and was on the run, would they be a small, medium at large?
House Whisperer out!!