If you suffer from allergies, a dusty environment can be extremely irritating. Dust accumulation can also increase the risk of fleas, bedbugs, and other pests, not to mention harmful airborne bacteria.
Luckily, for those who don’t know how to remove dust from the air, there are several ways to effectively do just that. With a few simple steps, you can maintain a cleaner atmosphere in your home or office.
How To Remove Dust From The Air
The three steps to removing dust include a couple of steps that you can perform immediately, while the third step requires the use of a small appliance. The steps are as follows:
- Remove carpeting from your house
- Maintain a regular cleaning schedule
- Choose the right air purifier
Your flooring may contribute to the presence of dust. If you have carpet, consider getting rid of it. You should also regularly clean your walls, counters, furniture, and other surfaces to remove dust. However, the most effective method is the use of an air purifier.
Remove Carpeting from Your House
Getting rid of carpeting may help prevent the accumulation of dust. Thick carpet fibers easily trap dust and other particles that are released into the air every time that you walk across the carpet.
Over the years, these carpet fibers become worn and compacted, allowing them to trap even more dust, dirt, and debris.
Vacuuming may not reach deep into the fibers, which causes the dirt to continue accumulating. The padding underneath the carpet can also become worn and can help collect dirt and debris. Eventually, these issues cause the carpet to become a dust magnet and make it impossible to improve the air quality.
Replacing carpet with wood, laminate, or vinyl flooring can provide a more hygienic surface. These flooring materials do not capture dust and dirt as easily and are often easier to clean.
Removing the carpet is not an option for everyone. If you enjoy the look and feel of carpeting, the carpet should be vacuumed regularly. In fact, vacuuming should become part of your daily cleaning schedule for removing dust.
Maintain a Regular Cleaning Schedule
Besides vacuuming, there are additional cleaning tasks that can help eliminate dust. You should first get rid of clutter, especially piles of items on the floor. Clean up toys, clothing, and other piles.
You should also maintain a cleaning schedule that allows you to cover every room in the house. The main cleaning tasks include wiping down surfaces and flooring.
When cleaning the walls, shelves, and surfaces, avoid using a feather duster. Feather dusters do not actually collect a lot of dust. They mostly help redistribute the dust, sending it back into the air before it settles again.
Instead of using a feather duster, use a microfiber cloth. Get the cloth slightly damp with soapy water to wipe down walls, fan blades, entertainment center, shelves, and any other surfaces where dust can settle.
Furniture, bedding, and flooring also need regular cleaning. Most furniture can be cleaned with the upholstery attachment on a vacuum cleaner, while the method that you use to clean the floors depends on the flooring material.
For hardwood, vinyl, and laminate flooring, you should dry mop the floors at least every other day. This allows you to collect dust bunnies and debris from the corners of the room and below furniture. You may also need to mop the floor occasionally to remove any buildup.
When performing these cleaning tasks, you should always start with the highest surface and work your way toward the floor.
While cleaning may help minimize the presence of dust, a busy lifestyle makes it difficult to keep up with these tasks. Adding an air purifier to the room provides a convenient solution for eliminating dust.
Choose the Right Air Purifier
An air purifier provides the best method for eliminating dust if you choose the right purifier. There are many types of purifiers and some are more effective than others. The main types of purifiers include the following:
- HEPA filters
- Activated carbon filters
- Ionizing purifiers
- Ozone generators
- UV air purifiers
Most air purifiers are designed to be placed on the floor or a desk and may include multiple power settings. Filtered air purifiers are the most popular choice and are most effective at removing dust and airborne particles.
HEPA Filter Air Purifiers
HEPA filters are the most common and basic filter system used by an air purifier. These filters consist of layers of fiberglass, foam, or cotton to collect particles from the air.
These air purifiers often have one or more fans to help pull air through the filter. As the air passes through the HEPA filter, it collects the particles. These particles remain attached to the filter, which will need to be replaced occasionally.
HEPA filters come with a MERV rating, which specifies its ability to remove airborne particles. A MERV rating of 12 indicates that it can remove up to 98% of small particles, while a rating of 17 or higher indicates that the filter can remove up to 99.999% of all particles.
Along with removing dust, these filters can collect a variety of potentially harmful particles from the air. They can help remove pet dander, mold spores, and debris. However, the filters cannot capture some of the smaller particles floating through your air, including bacteria and viruses. HEPA filters also cannot remove odors, chemicals, and fumes.
Activated Carbon Air Purifiers
Activated carbon filters work like HEPA filters. They collect dust and airborne particles that travel through the filter. While they are not as efficient as HEPA filters for eliminating dust, they can help attract odors, chemicals, fumes, and some bacteria.
These filters are primarily used to trap gasses and odors, which is why they are commonly used with other filtration media, such as HEPA filters. With a two-stage filtration system, the air passes through both a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter, offering a wider range of protection.
Some activated carbon filters are also designed to be reusable. These filters can be washed in a sink and dried, allowing you to reuse them for up to six months before needing to replace them.
Ionizing Air Purifiers
Ionizing air purifiers create charged ions that are released into the air. These charged molecules then attract small particles floating in the air. When the charged ion and the particle combine, they become too heavy to remain in the air, causing the airborne particles to fall to the ground.
Ionizers are known to produce ozone, which is considered harmful to the environment and people, especially those that suffer from respiratory issues.
Another issue is that these purifiers do not remove dust. They pull the dust and particles from the air, allowing them to settle on the ground and surfaces. You still need to wipe surfaces clean regularly to collect this dust.
Ozone generators use technology that is like the technology used by ionizer air purifiers. However, instead of producing ions, they directly produce ozone. As mentioned, ozone is a harmful substance and should be avoided. In fact, few manufacturers still produce ozone generators since studies have connected ozone to health concerns.
UV Air Purifiers
UV air purifiers are not designed to remove particles such as dust or pet dander. They are used to kill germs. UV air purifiers help eliminate harmful bacteria, mold, viruses, and microbes floating in the air.
The UV air purifier uses a fan to pull air through the air purifier, like the HEPA and activated carbon air purifiers. As the air passes through the air purifier, it is exposed to a bright UV light. The UV radiation effectively kills the germs.
As the UV light cannot collect dust and debris, these purifiers often include filters. The air passes through the filter before being exposed to the UV light.
Which Air Purifier Should You Choose?
HEPA filters provide the greatest range of air filtration, helping to collect microscopic particles from the air, including dust. However, these filters do not eliminate odors.
If you want to maximize air filtration and remove odors or chemicals from the air, consider using an air purifier with multi-stage filtration. These air purifiers include both HEPA and activated carbon filters. You may also consider getting a UV purifier that combines these filters.
Air purifiers are also available in a variety of styles, configurations, and sizes. Most of the purifiers are designed for portable placement in a room. You place it near a wall and plug it into an electrical outlet to begin cleaning the air.
When choosing an air purifier, you should look at the manufacturer’s recommended room size or coverage area, which is listed in square footage. They may also list the air exchanges per hour (ACH), which indicates how many times per hour the air purifier can cycle the air in a room.
An ACH rating of at least 6 is preferred for removing small particles. However, an ACH rating of 4 should help eliminate dust in the coverage area recommended by the manufacturer.
Along with an air purifier, do not forget to regularly clean each room. Regular cleaning helps to reduce the amount of dust that the purifier needs to collect, which may also increase the life of the filter.