A better way to dust

Does dust manage to settle on every surface of your home no matter how often you clean? Not only is the dust that accumulates on household surfaces unsightly, but it can also lead to respiratory problems. If you find yourself constantly battling an indoor dust problem, it may be because of ineffective cleaning practices. Thankfully, there is a better way to clean that will help reduce the amount of dust that floats through your house and settles on your furniture, floors, and electronics.

Common Dusting Mistakes

Most people tackle household chores with the best of intentions. However, a few common cleaning practices do nothing to get rid of household dust. In fact, if you clean using these methods, you aren’t accomplishing anything. Instead, you’re just stirring up dust.

Don’t Use a Traditional Feather Duster

While feather dusters seem fancy and fun to use, they do nothing to get rid of dust. All a feather duster does is stir dust around, sweeping it off surfaces and into the air where it will float until it settles back onto your floors and furniture. Instead, use a damp cloth, microfiber cloth, or electrostatic duster to capture and hold the dust as you wipe.

The Problem with Vacuuming After Dusting

It is standard cleaning practice for most homeowners to dust their furniture, walls, and surfaces first, and then follow up with a vacuum cleaner.  The idea is to suck up any remaining dust that may have fallen to the floor.

However, vacuum cleaners use an agitator, a cylindrical rotating brush, to sweep carpets and rugs and kick up dust to trap it in a canister or vacuum bag. The problem with the method is that most vacuum cleaners are not very efficient at sucking in all the agitated dust particles. The remaining dust gets sent into the air where it floats around the room until it eventually settles back on the surfaces you just cleaned. By vacuuming after you’ve dusted, you undo all of the dusting you just completed.

A Better Way to Dust

There is a better way to dust that does more than just stir it up so it can resettle on the surfaces of your home.

First, turn your HVAC unit’s fan on. You can do this by simply going to your thermostat and switching the fan setting to “On”.

Then begin to dust, starting with the highest surfaces first. This includes ceiling fans, high light fixtures, and the tops of door jambs.

Next, instead of proceeding to dust the lower surfaces in your home, start vacuuming. Since your system fan is running, the dust your vacuum kicks up will be pulled through the vents, getting trapped in the filters instead of resettling on your furniture.

After you have vacuumed, dust the remaining lower surfaces in your home. After you have finished, allow the fan to run for at least another fifteen minutes to pull in any dust you stirred up into the air.

Then, turn your thermostat setting back to “Auto”. While it is okay to run your furnace fan for a brief time while you are cleaning, constant running will only drive up your utility bill if you leave it on.

Excessive Dust Could Be a Symptom of Something More Serious

If you still find yourself battling a never-ending dust problem after adjusting your cleaning habits, you may have a problem with your air ducts. A leak in the air ducts in your home’s attic or crawl space will suck in dust and then release it into your home’s interior through your system’s supply vents. This will cause extra dust to enter your home every time your HVAC unit turns on.

If you find yourself constantly dusting and think you may have a leaky duct, call your local HVAC technician for a full check-up.