Most homes contain some dust buildup, but unless it’s very obvious, people don’t pay a lot of attention to it. However, if you or a family member is experiencing respiratory issues or skin problems without any known causes, the problem may be your home’s dust, which is a known allergen. Your living space doesn’t have to look filthy for this to be an issue.
Health Effects of Dust
Dust causes allergic reactions in many people. Dust mites, which live in the dust, are the primary culprit. Despite a common myth, these mites don’t bite. Symptoms of dust mite allergies range from mild respiratory irritation, which causes sneezing, itchy nasal passages and coughing to chronic congestion, lung infections and asthma attacks. Those who already have asthma may experience attacks more frequently. Dust can also cause skin rashes. Those with eczema may experience worsening symptoms in a dusty household.
Aside from asthma sufferers, anyone with other chronic lung conditions is at a higher risk for developing health problems.
Tips for Reducing Dust
- Vacuum floors and upholstery with a HEPA-filter vacuum cleaner. Empty the canister or vacuum bag outdoors when you’re finished.
- Wash pillowcases and bedding weekly and consider purchasing an allergy-proof mattress cover to safeguard your mattress. Skin flakes are a big component in dust, so despite being covered with sheets and bedding, your mattress can contain a substantial amount of dust. As such, it’s advisable to use protective pillow covers.
- Consider replacing carpeting with solid floors and replacing upholstered furnishings with leather, vinyl or another smooth surfaced material. It’s much better to wipe surfaces clean than to vacuum. If replacing your carpet is not an option, shampoo it once a month.
- Wipe solid surfaces clean with damp cloths to avoid sending allergens into the air.
- Add UV lights to your HVAC system to control pollutants.
- Damp mop all floor surfaces at least once a week.
For more information about your health and maintaining your Northeast Ohio home, please contact Stack Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about dust and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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