8 Awesome Ways to Keep Dust Particles Away from Your Home

What Are Dust Particles?

Dust is made up of fine particles of solid matter. And it usually comes in two categories, either atmospheric or domestic. Atmospheric dust consists of atmospheric particles such as soil, and pollution. Dust in homes, offices, and other human environments contains small amounts of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, human skin cells, and many other materials which may be found in the local environment.

House dust mites are also present indoors wherever humans live. Dust mites are microscopic arachnids whose primary food is dead human skin cells. Fortunately, they do not actually live on living people. They and their feces and other allergens which they produce are major constituents of house dust. They are generally found on the floor and other surfaces until disturbed. It could take somewhere between twenty minutes and two hours for dust mites to settle back down out of the air. Right, aren’t you glad that they can’t fly!?

Dust mites are a nesting species that prefers a dark, warm, and humid climate. They flourish in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets. Their feces include enzymes that are released upon contact with a moist surface, which can happen when a person inhales, and these enzymes can kill cells within the human body. House dust mites did not become a problem until humans began to use textiles, such as western style blankets and clothing.

Health Effects of Dust Particles

The type and size of a dust particle determine how toxic the dust is. Additionally, the possible harm the dust may cause to your health is mostly determined by the amount of dust present in the air and how long you have been exposed to it.

Dust particles that are inhaled may cause:

  • irritation of the eyes
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • hayfever
  • asthma attacks.

For people with respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema. Even small increases in dust concentration can make their symptoms worse.

Unfortunately, there is no current evidence that dust causes asthma. However, breathing in high concentrations of dust over many years is thought to reduce lung function in the long term. And it also can contribute to disorders like chronic bronchitis and heart and lung disorders.

Who Is at Risk?

Anyone who is exposed to high levels of dust may be affected. But it has been shown that the longer you breathe in the dust, the greater the chance that it will affect your health.

Fortunately, breathing low levels of household or urban dust does not cause health problems in most individuals. Unfortunately, people with existing respiratory and heart conditions, including smokers, are at greater risk of developing long-term health problems. Additionally, babies, young children, and elderly people are all more likely to develop health problems from long-term exposure to high levels of dust.

Keeping Dust Particles Away from Your Home

Bedding: 

Change your bedding once a week. Dust mites love to dwell in sheets, pillows, and mattresses. Encasing your mattress and box spring in an allergen-proof cover, in conjunction with washing your bedding once a week, should be enough to keep your sheets bug free.

Keep Clean Closets:

Garments stored in closets shed lots of fiber. It's best to store things in garment bags, plastic containers, and boxes.

Keep Clean Floors:

Remove clutter from floors. Don't ignore piles of clothing, toys, magazines, books or anything else on the floor. Cleaning around them won't take care of the dust that has settled in or around them.

No Carpeting:

It may look gorgeous, but carpeted floors are high-maintenance and magnets for dust mites. If you do have some carpet, make sure they are vacuumed daily.  Unfortunately, those with severe allergies may have to vacuum multiple times a day. If you're attached to your carpet, consider investing in a vacuum cleaner with a double-layered microfilter bag or a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. All of this prevents dust from being re-introduced into the air. 

Take it Outside:

Dust from area rugs and pillows should be beaten outdoors.

Dusters:

Feather dusters only aggravate existing dust and cause it to settle elsewhere around your home. Instead, use a damp cloth or moist towelette to wipe down surfaces.

Clean From Top Down

Clean the highest surfaces first and work your way down, so you capture any dust you missed.

Air Purifiers: 

If you have severe allergies or asthma symptoms, an air purifier can be very beneficial. But the best dust action is when a purifier is used with traditional cleaning and dusting. While they filter dust particles, they don't take care of dust mites (since they're not airborne).  

Conclusion

Face it, dust is everywhere. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about it, especially if you are sensitive to dust. Remove carpets, clean your carpets often, keep your clothes off the ground, and tidy your closet. These are all simple ways of fighting the effects of dust. Take a look at your home, and find some ways that you can decrease your dust burden. 

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Tyler Farr
 

Tyler is an energetic nature enthusiast who is currently considering moving into a tiny house. Tyler and his wife enjoy hiking, mountain biking, camping, and doing anything in the great outdoors. He hopes that the articles he writes will help others learn how important it is to take care of the environment.

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