Dust Avoidance in the Home

Summary: Keep dust levels to a minimum in the home by thorough cleaning and using an air cleaner if necessary.

Dust and dirt in the home is a potential source of toxins, allergens, and parasites. A thorough cleanup of it should be performed. Once the below suggestions are followed, especially that of the air filter, then less work will be required to keep the home reasonably free of dust.

Electrostatic allergy-free air conditioner filters are reasonably priced these days. They are plastic or metal meshes which can be washed monthly and most are very effective and inexpensive considering the life. Home Depot now sells pre-sized ones for less than $25, but not of the best quality. The best, like Allergy Free or comparable types, cost between $35-70. Electrostatic ones which must be adjusted (cut-to-fit) are possibly less effective since the frame will not sit completely flush.

If this is not effective enough, consider an air cleaner, preferably a HEPA. This removes even the smallest particles from the air. Negative ionizers help somewhat, but are not as effective as HEPAs in this regard. Neither are ozone generators like the Alpine Air, but these can help a good deal if they include an ion generator and a decent filter like most of the modern ones do. Ozone is more helpful to remove odor, However, ozone, especially the type produced by Alpine Air and similar devices, is harmful or even deadly when used in too high a quantity.

Use a powerful (12A or more) vacuum cleaner with a dirt sensor light, on board easy-to-use attachments, and multi-stage or HEPA filtration. A number of manufacturers make this type. To do the initial cleanup of the home, turn the sensor to high sensitivity and go to it, getting as much dirt as possible. This may take hours. Move all furniture if possible and get under, around, behind, and above. Often, dust "bunnies" hang on to the furniture itself on the back and bottom. Vacuum all curtains and bed covers. Remove bed covers and vacuum the bed mattress.

If there is a sensitivity to dust mites, consider using allergy-free bed linens. These are made from a very fine mesh cloth through which mites cannot pass, so once the mattress is vacuumed they will no longer infest it from above.

A good habit is to do as Asians and reduce dirt on the floors by removing shoes at the door. Using floormats inside and outside doors will help reduce dirt tracked in, too.