Dust can be found outdoors, in our offices and cars—and especially in our homes. This dust found inside our homes may trigger miserable allergies symptoms, making it difficult to enjoy time at home. Using an air purifier to reduce dust may be an effective way to combat these allergies symptoms and other associated conditions. However, it is important to learn more about what dust is, where it comes from, and how to prevent it from coming back.
Most Common Sources Of Dust
Dust originates from various sources, including dead skin cells, bedding, furniture, and our clothing. Additionally, dust can be created by surfaces or materials made of fibers.
Half Is Produced Inside, Half Comes From Outside
A study conducted by the Environmental Science & Technology Journal found 60 percent of indoor dust is produced outside, much of which comes from airborne particles that are contained in soil, plants, and animals.
Have You Heard Of The Dust Bowl?
Arid parts of the country are particularly prone to dust. The most famous example is the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, where a combination of drought and agricultural practices caused farms in the Midwest to dry out. As the winds progressed, they picked up dry soil created black blizzards, otherwise known as dust storms. While normal conditions are far from these extremes, clearly nature is the biggest creator of dust particles.
Not Just Annoying: Dust Can Be Dangerous to Your Health
Dust may seem relatively harmless, but it can be harmful to your respiratory health. Lungs are the body’s natural defense mechanism, as they remove dust particles from the respiratory system. However, when exposed to high levels of dust the risk of disease goes up dramatically.
Inhaling Dust Takes A Toll
Several factors influence the effects of dust particles. For example, how deeply the particles are inhaled into the respiratory system, or the length of exposure. Other factors, such as whether breathing is done through the nose or mouth, may also influence the effects. Using an air purifier to help control and reduce dust can assist in removing it from the air prior to it reaching your lungs.
Dust At Work Is Often Worse
Occupations where dust an issue tend to put workers at risk for dust related illnesses called pneumoconiosis, or dusty lung. In this condition, inhaled dust particles produce scar tissue and particles may even dissolve into the bloodstream, causing potential toxicity to spread to key parts of the body, such as the brain and kidney.
Some of the most common lung diseases caused by dust are:
- hard metal disease
- coal pneumoconiosis
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How to Remove Dust from Your Home
Dust can be found anywhere in your home. Finding an efficient way to eliminate this dust in your house can be a challenging problem. So how do you get rid of something that keeps coming back? There are many solutions to this problem, but the best place to start is with prevention. Along with using an air purifier, these tips may help create an effective solution in your home.
Key Dust Reduction Tips
1. Run an air purifier.
The best air purifiers on the market, specifically designed to remove dust, utilize HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. Effective HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles, helping you effectively control and reduce dust inside your home.
The Alen Breathesmart 45i HEPA air purifier, for example, receives rave reviews for its dust-removing capabilities.
“Terrific product! I turn it on before we get into bed, and I can tell it’s working within twenty minutes. I can also see that the amount of dust in the room is reduced” – Diane L.
2. Use fabric softener.
Used fabric softener. Computers and televisions are electrically charged, making them an attractive place for dust to settle. Used dryer softener sheets can greatly reduce static cling, helping keep the dust away. Liquid fabric softener can also be used to achieve the same results. Simply dampen a dust cloth with the fabric softener and you can clean anything from shower doors to wooden tables.
3. Upgrade your furnace filter.
Upgrade your furnace filter. Homes with forced-air heating or cooling systems control and reduce dust by filtering the air. Using an electrostatic filter that connects to your ductwork is considered the most effective system in eliminating dust. The downside is that it would need to be installed by a professional and can cost between $700-$1,500.
An Alternative To A New Furnace
Standard fiberglass filters are able to trap large dust particles. It can greatly reduce dust on your furnace, however it does very little to reduce household dust. Using an air purifier, along with a pleated filter, can greatly help. When using a pleated filter, it is important to change the filter at least once every three months. Placing an air purifier with pleated filters in your home can also significantly reduce allergy symptoms.
4. Clean bedding weekly.
Clean bedding weekly. Bed sheets can serve as a major collector of dust, full of everything from skin flakes to the fabric fibers. Washing your bedding weekly in warm water can help to eliminate dust and keep dust mites under control. You can also clean non-washable items by taking them outside and shaking them.
5. Use laundered baby wipes.
Use laundered baby wipes. Some brands of baby wipes work especially well at removing dust after being laundered. These cloths can help remove dust from narrows spaces such as keyboards.
Unfortunately, dust cannot be completely avoided. However, these small changes can make a difference. Using an air purifier in every room is a great way to collectively get rid of dust from the air as well.