How to Reduce Dust And Improve Air Quality In Your Home
While we’ve covered a previous article on air pollution and the ways you can protect yourself from nasties in the air, there are other allergens that naturally occur that we can proactively take care of. Yes. We’re talking about dust.
Anthropogenic pollution can be drastically reduced when we start to switch to renewable energy and cut back on all other sorts of industrial production. Dust on the other hand… is created daily and is out of our control. Not only does it stick to your furniture, bedding and fake plants, dust can also affect our breathing which is why some people get allergies! So this article will explore what dust is exactly so then we are better equipped at how we can reduce it and live cleaner, happier and healthier!
First of all… What is dust exactly?
In an interview with ABC, Professor Mark Taylor from Macquarie University’s School of Earth and Environmental Science said that dust is the accumulation of “skin, hair, carpet fluff, clothing fibres, pet hair [and] soil from outside”.
It’s these particles that then get mixed in with trace elements that are emitted from the traffic passing on the roads which can have adverse effects on your health. While not everyone suffers from allergies or are negatively affected by slight shifts in the dust around them, it’s nice to keep your space clean and do your best to minimise the levels of dust circulating.
At this point in time, with social distancing and restrictions on travelling, a lot of us are staying indoors and at home. This means that we are spending more time in our space and ultimately more dust is being created.
How do we reduce it?
So how do we get dust in our homes? Well…dust is known to settle, resulting in a film of grime and is associated with the words dirty, messy or untouched. But that’s not necessarily the case. Just from walking around, we unknowingly shed dead skin cells and hair all around our home. While we cannot completely get rid of dust, there are definitely some ways that you can reduce the amount in your space and improve your indoor air quality!
1. Remove shoes when you enter the house
When you are outside, your shoes pick up soil, dirt and other particles that stick to the soles. Eventually, when you come back inside, you are tracking all the same particles through your home and increasing the chance of these sticking to dust and potentially being circulated while you relax, cook and sleep at home.
Removing your shoes is a great way to keep these outside particles at bay. We would recommend getting a mat that you can wipe your shoes on before entering the house but also removing your shoes and swapping them for slippers.
2. A high-quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters
If you’re concerned about dust build up in your home, the vacuum you should be investing in should be one with a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter. These are devices that retain the fine dust particles that aren’t able to be trapped by normal vacuums.
If you have big curtains or fans that need dusting, it’s best to try and vacuum these and work from top-down so that you can minimise any re-shifting of dust or have to re-dust any areas where dust can fall again. It also is worth mentioning that you should vacuum your mattress every now and again. While we sleep, a lot of dead skin cells can accumulate and settle into the mattress so doing your sheets regularly and vacuuming the mattress can help reduce dust and allergen build up so you can enjoy a healthy sleep environment.
Now, when you’re done cleaning, make sure that you’re also disposing of the dust appropriately. Do it outside, wear a mask and try to slowly dislodge the debris from the machine so you aren’t disrupting the dust too much and risk it from quickly circulating in the air, that way you can be sure you’re improving air quality without reintroducing the old dust!
3. Clean air ducts
You can do your best to use the long attachment on the vacuum cleaner to reach these air ducts or vents. However, try and wear a mask or make sure you’re not underneath the ducts so that you are not directly breathing in any debris that may fall. Again, this is why it helps to clean from top to bottom!
4. Use damp cloths
Once you do a thorough vacuum of your house and do as best you can with the sofas and curtains, if you have them, it’s time to put in a little bit of elbow grease. While it makes sense that any cloth will do, microfibre cloths are truly the best, and damp ones at that. Microfibre is made of synthetic fibres weaned together and have less than ten micrometres in diameter. To put this into perspective, we can typically only see dust that is 25 micrometres in size.
Microfibre cloths come in a variety of types these days. They come in standard cloth sizes, as removable attachments to mops, on ceiling fan dusters as well as gloves. They are also eco-friendly and re-usable. Simply pop them in the washing machine, dry and clean again! Talk about a win-win!
5. An air conditioner with HEPA filters
The best air conditioners have HEPA filters, the same kind that high-quality vacuum cleaners should have, and can help quietly filter your air without you noticing. While larger dust particles aren’t so much of an issue because they can be easily cleaned, it’s the finer particles that can get into your airways and impact your health and cause allergies. The smaller particles are also able to travel further and thus stay around longer. So having an air-conditioner can help you keep your air clean with the HEPA filters, cycling through fresh air and pushing out clean, clarified air!
Make sure to keep the aircon fan running or if you have fans as well, occasionally put them on so that the air around the room circulates and is able to be picked up by the air-con filters as they pass through. This is an easy way to improve air quality without doing much.
It is important to keep maintaining your air conditioner and cleaning the filters if it’s safe to do so whenever you can to minimise the build-up of dust in your air conditioning systems. If you are unsure how to do so, it’s best to consult a professional to service and maintain it for you! Contact one of our professionals at Air-Rite to come to you and enjoy cleaner, fresher air today!