How to beat back dust and stay healthy in your home
Dust mites are an irritant that can spur allergic reactions. The best way to avoid dust mites is to reduce house dust. House dust is a food for dust mites and can develop from many sources including dead skin cells and pet dander. Dust can also become a host for toxic mold spores and contribute to sick house syndrome.
Where pet dander and dust bunnies go, dust mites follow, and they especially love to dwell in carpeting, furnishings, bedding, radiators and air conditioners, as well as behind and under refrigerators.
“Dust is the devil and you’ve got to get rid of all the dust to reduce the dust mites!” warns Jeff May
, author of My House Is Killing Me
. To control those tight, tricky, dust-attracting spaces around refrigerators and elsewhere, May recommends adding a specially designed 36-inch crevice tool to your vacuum attachment arsenal. And speaking of your vacuum, you’ll get closest to a dust-free existence if it employs a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter and debris collection via a disposable bag.
“People with allergies or asthma should not use a vacuum that doesn’t have a bag, because when you dump that accumulated house dust out, you just create clouds of it all over again. It’s basically negating the whole job,” notes May.
Conscientious, consistent cleaning is basic to control house dust, and the dust mites they foster, but also take a tour around your home to track down and block other entrances for this irritant. Air leaks around and through doors and windows, unsealed ducts, and dirty air filters are all likely sources of house dust.
Finally, make sure any indoor home improvement projects do more good than harm by sealing off work areas, rolling carpet protection film out over fiber-based surfaces, and cleaning up thoroughly after every work session to avoid construction and house dust, and the dust mites that follow!