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Question DetailsAsked on 11/20/2015

DUST Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a smaller split level home that is about 40 years old. I live here with my husband and our 2 dogs. one small and one large. we do not do much cleaning but I try to vacuum and sweep regularly because of the dogs. the only carpet we have in the whole house is in the hallway and on the stairs. I have terrible asthma and allergies so I have tile everywhere I can. I have noticed in the last few months the dust on the ceiling fans is TERRIBLE I clean them and it comes right back 5 days later. it is literally almost a quarter inch thick all the way around the fan blades!!! what do I do! we have checked the dryer and it is venting properly. and we change our furnace filter monthly. we do use our attic fan sometimes though ... HELP!!!

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2 Answers


Attic fans bring outdoor air inside,one possible ducst source. When using an attic fan, keep lots of windows open. The attic fan will pul air from where ever it can,if there is not enough air available from windows, it will pull from the crawl space or attic,nasty air source.

Vacuums suck air into it bag or cmaber where the "stuff" is collected, but the air passes on through the bag,and contains the smallest of particles that were pulled in to the vacuum. These end up in the air in your home and resettle as dust. A good newer vacuum with a "HEPA" filter where this air renters the room, will help reduce the amount that re-enters the air. The best solution is a Central Vacuum system, where the air that goes through the vacuum is exhausted outside of the home.

The smallest particles in the air, settle as dust, most are so small,the they settle before they can get to the filter in the furnace,however a better filter will help.

AIr duct leakage from the furnace duct system, causes infiltration and exfiltration, of the air in your home,this can be a major cause of dust in your home. Check out duct sealing at , the best way to seal you air ducts.

There are many other product the can help, search on "Indoor Air Quality" and you'l find them.


Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC


Certainly, as your realize, the less carpets the better for your condition. And as other comment said, vacuums (especially the ones with vigorous beater brushes) tend to stir up the dust a lot when vacuuming.

BTW - the HEPA vacuum - who was it - BayArea AC ? - was talking about. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, meaning a filtration system that traps the small duct particles that get through usual vacuums, and especially get through the cyclone as opposed to filter and bag type.

Also - if you get a HEPA vacuum, try to use it whenever possible - sweeping picks up the larger material but basically just spreads a lot of the finer dust around in the air.

Also - what is the condition of your rugs/carpets - if they are getting worn (especially with the dogs), especially if natural fiber, that could be a lot of what is ending up on the ceiling fan and in the air - might be time to replace them, and perhaps with a hard surface flooring like tile, stone, hardwood, sheet flooring, laminate, etc. Though on the stairs consider safety if you or dogs are elderly or have mobility issues - also, as you/they grow older, especially if wet or snowy area, might be safer to keep the carpet there to eliminate slipping issues.

One thing on the attic fan - unless this is just an attic ventilation fan to cool the attic on hot days and your attic is sealed from the rest of the house, it can pull in outside air to the house, which if dusty can aggravate your situation, so opening your windows while it is on might or might not be a good idea, depending on your local air quality conditions. One other thing on the attic fan too - if a "whole house fan" and it happens to be blowing INTO the house instead of out, could be picking up a lot of dust from the attic and moving it into your living space.

One other thing on the furnace - check to see if the return air duct (assuming forced air here) comes into the furnace "before" or "after" the filter - some are installed with the return air feeding straight into the heat exchanger chamber, so only the makeup air is filtered, resulting in dust recirculation in the air system. This can be changed - sometimes by re-ducting to pass the return air through your filter, other times better (to reduce air friction losses) to install a separate filter in the return duct too.

And make sure your filters are good quality - the cheapo cardboard frame "hairy" fiberglass ones let a lot of dust through and generally only catch the bulk of the lint - check manufacturer instruction on high quality folded or pleated paper or fabric ones and try one or two to see what difference that makes. Also, make sure it fits tightly in the filter slot - a lot are real sloppy fits, so a good portion of the air goes around the filter, not through it. Sometimes some sticky-backed weatherstripping can solve a loose fit.

One other thing - you said the past few months - what changed at the timeframe - new bedding or blankets, new pet bedding, new carpet, new furnace ? You could also check under and inside the back panel of the dryer (depower, tilt it up being careful not to damage venting or power/gas connection - maybe you have an air leak in the system, a lint trap chute come loose, exhaust ducting come loose at the unit, etc so you are getting a lot of lint from there - though if that was the case you should be seeing a large amount of lint near the dryer when cleaning.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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