Dog with allergies sitting on couch

You do your best to maintain a clean home. You regularly vacuum the carpet. You thoroughly scrub your sinks and countertops. And you remember to occasionally empty your freezer and refrigerator of expired foods.

But despite your best efforts, your home still seems a little dirty. A thick layer of dust clings to your bookshelves, your entertainment centre and your display cabinet. You grab the feather duster and wipe it against every corner you can imagine. But within hours (if not minutes), the dust is back in full force.

So why is your home so dusty?

1. You Use a Cheap Air Filter

Air filters are your first defence against airborne dust. As your air conditioner pulls in outdoor air, the filter traps any particulates that would otherwise damage your unit or blow around in your home. However, filters vary in effectiveness, and the cheaper the filter, the less efficient it is at trapping dust.

If you want to improve your home’s air quality and limit the dust in your home, invest in a HEPA air filter, which can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. And don’t forget to change the filter every few months (more often if you have pets).

2. You Have a Leak in Your Ductwork

To work at its best, your ductwork needs to remain completely air tight. Gaps around the ceiling registers, misaligned air returns and punctured ducts interfere with the natural air flow of your cooling system. Any holes in your ductwork allow dust to enter your unit without passing through your filter first, and your air conditioner then blows the dust throughout the rest of your home.

Small ductwork leaks often prove troublesome to pinpoint. But if you notice that some rooms remain difficult to cool, or if you see an increase in your monthly utility bills, talk to a professional about inspecting or upgrading your system.

3. Your Home Has Dry Air

Static electricity occurs when two surfaces rub against each other. If both surfaces act as insulators, they’ll build up an electrical charge until they come in contact with a conductor. Then, the charge will neutralise itself, resulting in a static shock.

While you might not realise it, dry air acts as an insulator, allowing static to build up in the air itself. Because static electricity attracts dust, dirt and airborne debris, you’ll notice more dust in your home on dry days than on humid ones.

Fortunately, water molecules act as conductors, enabling the charges in the air to disperse before they become a problem. When you invest in a humidifier and set it to about 30% to 50% relative humidity, you can significantly decrease the airborne dust in your home.

4. You Rely Heavily on Your Fan

During the summer, you might try to save money on cooling costs through various techniques. A ceiling or window fan may seem like an affordable way to promote air circulation and help you feel cool despite the weather.

Though moving air sweeps away some of your body heat, it’s also powerful enough to kick up any dust or dirt in your household.  When you keep your fan near the window, it will pull in outdoor debris without pushing it through your home’s air filter.

If dust and a low budget remain your biggest concerns, consider investing in a newer air conditioner. Though a new unit may cost you money initially, it will save you more money in the long run. The latest Energy Star units run more efficiently than older systems, and with a reliable filter, they’ll trap more dirt as well.

Enjoy a Cleaner, Healthier Home

Of course, you can bring dust and dirt into your home through a variety of methods. Not all of them are listed here. But when you follow the tips and advice given in the above steps, you can soon enjoy a cleaner, nearly dust-free home.