If you have allergy sufferers in your family, you’ve probably wondered how to reduce dust in your home. According to the makers of one furniture spray, the average home collects 40 lbs. of dust in one year. Forty pounds! Add in older carpeting, kids, a couple of cats, and a busy schedule and the figure is probably higher.
While no amount of cleaning will completely remove the dust in your house, these seven proven ways will definitely help you breathe easier.
How To Reduce Dust In Your Home
Usually, the fix for most household problems is going to the source. When it comes to reducing dust in the home, you really can’t address the source because it’s you and everyone else who lives there. When it comes to reducing dust in your home, the best solution is keeping out as much dust as possible and regularly getting rid of the rest of the dust that builds up.
1. Have everyone remove their shoes upon entering.
In some parts of the country, it’s considered good manners to remove your shoes when you enter someone else’s home, but there are always people who balk at the thought of a no shoe policy. If they realized that up to 80 percent of the dust in your home enters on the bottom of peoples’ shoes, they’d probably rethink their reluctance. One solution: keep a basket of washable slipper socks near the door for guests’ use.
2. Use mats, and keep them clean.
Sturdy mats inside and outside of every entrance to your home gives people a place to wipe their feet before entering. That practice alone will significantly cut down on the amount of dust tracked indoors even if people take their shoes off inside. Shake the mats outside or clean them with a hand-vac every couple of days and you’ll notice a definite reduction of dust.
3. Change your air filter monthly
Most manufacturers advise changing your filter every three months, but changing filters more often will significantly help reduce dust in your home. Use the inexpensive, disposable 1-month filters and change them every 30 days — or more often if you see dust building up on surfaces. Be sure to vacuum the area around your furnace, too: eliminating the dust that it pulls in from the surrounding area helps your filters last longer. If you have an outdoor HVAC unit, you should also give it a good cleaning in Spring and Autumn. (Here’s a YouTube video showing how.)
4. Keep your bedding clean
We’ve all seen the commercials about dead skin flakes, dander and dust mites building up in a mattress over time. They build up in bedding and pillows, too. Reduce this by vacuuming your mattress every time you change your sheets. Run your comforter and pillows through the dryer on “fluff” regularly, too, and wash your pillows every 4 to 6 weeks.
5. Vacuum often and properly
A good vacuum is a great ally in the war on dust. (Here’s the one I recommend.) Vacuum every room in your house, including the closet floors, regularly. How often you should vacuum ultimately depends on how many people live in your home. The general rule is to vacuum each room thoroughly once a week, then go over high-traffic areas every other day. Most importantly, make sure you know how to vacuum properly.
6. Dump the duster
Sure, feather dusters are cute and retro, but they do a horrible job of removing dust. Even if you follow recommendations to stroke the surfaces with the feathers instead of “tickling” them, the dust will fall out of the feathers as you walk through the room. Use your vacuum’s soft-bristled dusting attachment to clean drapes or curtains, mini-blinds, and baseboards. Switch to a damp microfiber cloth for other surfaces and rinse it repeatedly. Both the vacuum and the damp cloth ensure you’re actually getting rid of the dust, not just moving it around.
7. Do some DIY duct cleaning, or hire a pro
When was the last time you pulled the vent cover off of your floor register and took a peek? If you’ve got kids or pets, chances are you’ll find quite a few things down in the vents. Give your air ducts a good DIY duct cleaning monthly to reduce the junk blowing around in your indoor air. It only takes a few minutes! If they’re particularly dirty, or you don’t know whether they’ve ever been professionally cleaned, it’s time to call in the pros.
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