Why You’re Dusting Your Home All Wrong

2017 Feb 20
Posted in: Air Quality

Here in the Valley of the Sun, one of life’s constants is dust—lots and lots of it.

So you probably spend a fair amount of time cleaning it from your home. But did you know you may be doing it all wrong?

Here are 3 ways you may NOT be dusting your home correctly:

  1. You’re not using a HEPA filter vacuum
  2. You’re not taking advantage of your thermostat
  3. You haven’t had your ducts sealed by a professional

Let’s go into more detail about each of these ways:

#1: You’re not using a HEPA filter vacuum

If you’re not using a HEPA filter vacuum, you’re dusting wrong.

An efficient vacuum has a HEPA filter. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters remove 99% of all particles larger than 0.3 micrometers from passing air so they don’t circulate in your home.

In contrast, non-HEPA vacuum cleaners only pick up dust particles from 30 to 50 micrometers in size. Then they blow the rest of the smaller (often more harmful) particles into the air, which ends up settling on furniture, counters and other flat spaces.

You can usually find a good HEPA vacuum cleaner for under $250. Once you get one, make sure to change the filter at least once every 6 six months.

But vacuums aren’t the only machines that help you dust...

#2: You’re not taking advantage of your thermostat

Your A/C unit can also help you dust. It’s so easy. When you start dusting, just switch your thermostat’s fan setting from “AUTO” to “ON”.

In the “ON” position, your A/C’s blower circulates air constantly throughout your home. So when you clean, airborne dust particles are sucked up through the system’s return vent and removed through the air filters. Just make sure the filter is a clean one, or it won’t catch much.

Clean filter (left) next to a dirty filter (right)

Warning: When you’re done dusting, make sure to turn your thermostat back to “AUTO.” Keeping the A/C’s blower on 24/7 would be a huge waste of energy.  

Read more about the “ON” setting: This Thermostat Trick Helps You Dust Your Home

But the BIGGEST dusting mistake is #3...

#3: You haven’t had your ducts sealed by a professional

If your home is perpetually dusty—no matter how much you dust—the problem may be air duct leaks.

Let us explain.

Air ducts are the pathways that deliver the warm air from your home into the A/C unit to be cooled. Then the supply ducts deliver that cooled air back into your home.

Now, if those ducts are leaky and are located in naturally dusty places (attics, crawl spaces behind walls), the air ducts can suck in dust and then blow it back into your home.

Here’s an example of leaks in an attic:

A leak in the return ductwork

But does your home have duct leaks? According to energystar.gov, the typical home does!

“A typical house, however, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.”

So if you haven’t had an HVAC professional investigate your air ducts, you may be spending too much energy dusting your home.

Are you worried about the cost of duct sealing?

Luckily, most utility companies, including the 2 biggest in the Valley (SRP and APS), offer rebate programs that help homeowners hire qualified contractors to find and fix air duct leaks. Be sure to contact your utility provider for more details about the Duct Test and Repair Rebates.

Do you want a trustworthy expert to look at your home’s air ducts?

Contact George Brazil for an air duct inspection. If there are leaks, we can fix them. We can also help with any other A/C and heating needs you may have.

We’ve been helping Arizona families have dust-free homes since 1955.

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