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Clean the Air: Removing Dust and Allergens in Your Home

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Clean the Air: Removing Dust and Allergens in Your Home

Why Indoor Air Quality Matters

Indoor air quality is incredibly important for health and wellbeing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Since most people spend about 90% of their time indoors, it’s essential to keep indoor air as clean and allergen-free as possible. Poor indoor air quality can cause or worsen allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Some common indoor air pollutants and allergens include:

  • Dust mites – Microscopic bugs that live in dust and feed on dead skin cells
  • Mold – Fungi that grow in damp areas
  • Pet dander – Skin flakes from cats, dogs, birds, rodents, etc.
  • Pollen – Microscopic particles released by plants
  • Chemicals – From cleaning products, air fresheners, furniture, etc.

Keeping your home’s air clean not only improves health, but also makes your living environment more pleasant and comfortable.

Effective Ways to Remove Dust and Allergens

Here are some of the most effective methods for removing dust and allergens from your home’s air:

Use a High-Efficiency Air Purifier

Investing in a high-quality air purifier is one of the best ways to filter out dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. Look for HEPA air purifiers, which are proven to remove up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Place air purifiers in commonly used rooms like the living room, bedroom, and family room.

Change HVAC Filters Frequently

HVAC filters trap dust and allergens from forced air heating/cooling systems. I recommend changing filters every 1-3 months. Higher efficiency filters like MERV 11 or 13 offer better filtration than standard filters. Make sure filters fit your HVAC system properly.

Dust Frequently

Use a microfiber cloth to dust furniture, shelving, electronics, etc. frequently. This removes dust buildup before it gets stirred into the air. Focus on commonly touched surfaces. Dust from top to bottom, so upper shelves aren’t re-depositing dust onto already cleaned lower surfaces.

Vacuum Often with HEPA Filter Vacuum

Vacuuming lifts dust and allergens out of carpets, rugs, drapes and upholstered furniture. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which captures 99.97% of particles. Vacuum frequently – ideally every 1-3 days if you have allergies/asthma. Pay extra attention to carpeted rooms and fabric surfaces that accumulate more dust.

Control Moisture to Prevent Mold

Excess moisture allows mold to grow in your home. Prevent mold by fixing leaks, running dehumidifiers, using exhaust fans, and keeping indoor humidity under 50%. Clean any mold with a mix of 1 cup bleach per 1 gallon of water. Be sure to wear a protective mask when handling mold.

Limit Clutter and fabrics

Clutter and fabrics like curtains provide more surfaces for dust to collect on. Reduce clutter, keep furniture surfaces clear, and limit fabric materials. Hard, cleanable surfaces are best for an allergy-free home.

Creating an Allergen-Free Sleep Environment

The bedroom is especially important to keep allergen-free for better sleep. Here are some tips:

  • Encase mattress and pillows in allergen-proof covers to create a barrier against dust mites.

  • Wash bedding weekly in hot water to kill dust mites. Consider using allergy covers on pillows and comforters.

  • Use HEPA air purifiers and avoid humidifiers to control dust mites.

  • Keep pets out of the bedroom since their dander and hair aggravate allergies.

  • Reduce fabrics like rug and drapes which collect more dust than hard flooring and window blinds.

Creating an allergy-free sleep sanctuary helps prevent allergy symptoms from disrupting a good night’s sleep.

Maintaining Clean Indoor Air

Achieving clean indoor air requires diligence in regularly cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and taking preventative allergy-proofing measures. While an initial deep clean gets rid of built-up allergens, maintaining clean air requires making air quality a priority in your regular cleaning routine.

With some diligence and the right cleaning techniques, you can achieve cleaner indoor air, allowing you to breathe easier in an allergy-free home environment. Protect yourself and your family from the health effects of dust and allergens through air quality maintenance measures.

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