Solving a Dust Problem


Dust Troubles?

I bought my home about four years ago and have put in central air and a new furnace. Now we are having terrible trouble with dust. Within two days, I have dust sitting on all my surfaces. My curtains become filthy within a week after taking them down and washing them. Yet there is only one small vent near them and I don't see much dust there. I had my vents inspected before we put in the new equipment and was told I did not have any problem. We have checked as far as we can see and see no build up or debris in the vents. What could be causing this problem and how can we fix it?
Donna W

Seal the Ducts

My guess is that the problem is not dust coming through the ducts but coming in from around the ductwork and pulling dust into your living spaces from the attic. Seal the gaps around the ductwork where it vents into the room, and you should notice a big difference in your dust levels.

Happy with Hepa

I had this problem in a previous home. While having the unit cleaned regularly helped, it didn't eliminate the problem. There were two things I found that helped immensely. One was an air purifier. You need the kind with a hepa filter to get the small particles. This is also tremendously valuable if anyone has indoor allergies. The other thing I did was to install vent filters in each of my vents. These are very inexpensive and I simply rinse them out and use them again. I rinse them once a month when I clean my furnace filter. This has helped my whole house stay cleaner and really reduced allergy problems for myself and my kids.

Clean the Duct Work

If this is an older home, there is most likely a lot of dust sitting in the ductwork. The new furnace that you just installed probably has a more powerful and higher velocity fan than the old one. The dust in the ducts is being blown into your living spaces. The solution would be to have the ducts cleaned. There is almost certainly a company in your area that cleans ducts.

Filters Make a Difference

I had the same problem with my central air, and I didn't change anything. I found it was the type of filter I was using in it. I purchased the disposable allergy filters. They are about $6-$9 at Wal-Mart for a package of three. This way I always have extra on hand. I change it once a month and do it on the first of the month so I don't forget. This helped with a lot of my dust problems!

Washable Vent Filters

I had a similar problem in my home that was compounded by a strong aversion to dusting that also affects my wife, even though both of us have allergies to the dust that gets blown around the house by the furnace. We had the furnace system "cleaned" by a service that charged about $175 to hook up an enormous vacuum that sucked dust and dirt out of all the vents. Helped for a while. But we recently found something that seems to be more effective. They're filters that fit under the metal cover of each vent. They contain a microfiber filter that catches dust, pollens and other allergens. They're washable and reusable, and I seem to remember they cost about $3.50 each.

Cheesecloth - Inexpensive and Effective

Our 3-year-old son is allergic to dust. His allergist recommended placing cheesecloth on the interior side of all vents in the house. This is a very cost-effective method of reducing dust in the home.