Dust might not be the worst indoor air pollutant, but it can still degrade your indoor air quality and make you uncomfortable. Thanks to the Los Angeles area’s heavy traffic, indoor dust can also carry heavy metals and other contaminants from road dust. With a few simple changes, you can make sure dust doesn’t linger in your home.
- Get a better filter – If you’re using a standard 1-inch fiberglass filter in your HVAC system, you’re missing out on one of your best opportunities to control indoor dust. These filters are designed only to catch larger particles such as pet hair, so they do almost nothing against dust and other, smaller air contaminant particles. For a filter that controls dust, look for one with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) between 5 to 8. If you have allergies, a filter with a MERV between 9 to 12 is a better choice.
- Clean efficiently – For dusting, avoid feather dusters and opt for microfiber dust cloths, dust cloths with an electrostatic charge or at least damp cloths which will pick up and hold dust. To clean soft furnishings and other dust magnets that are hard to clean with a cloth, use hose attachments on a vacuum fitted with a HEPA-filter. For hard flooring, skip sweeping and vacuum instead. While you’re cleaning, run your air conditioner on “fan-only” mode to circulate your air through your HVAC filter, which will remove any dust you’ve kicked up.
- Consider an air cleaner – Electronic air cleaners trap particles by using an electrostatic charge to hold them against a metal plate. This lets these devices trap the tiny dust particles filters, miss. Setting up a portable air cleaner in your bedroom is a practical way to get cleaner air where you spend a large part of your time. If you want less dusty air in all your rooms, look into having a whole-house air cleaner installed.