What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Household Dust Control

Any allergist will tell you it is vital to eliminate dust in your home but the reality is, it is virtually impossible to remove all the dust in your home.  You can reasonably reduce it and control it but you can't eliminate it.  However, the fact remains that effective dust control results in a healthier indoor environment that reduces the need for respiratory medication.  It is a pro-active approach in allergy and asthma management that can save you a considerable amount of money.  Most methods of household dust control are low or no cost, more of a time commitment than anything else.  Here are some of the things I am doing to control household dust:

  • shoes off at the door policy - We have a policy of no outdoor shoes being worn inside the house.  This decreases allergens and dust from entering our home.  Of note, when we had asphalt driveways (two homes) we quickly discovered that oil from the asphalt tracked in on the bottom of shoes can cause light coloured sheet flooring to yellow
  • no pets - At the current time we have no pets by choice and that is mainly due to allergies.  Pets shed hair and skin cells much the same as humans do.  They can greatly increase the dust level in a home.  In addition, pets that go outdoors are walking allergen traps bringing all those allergens back into your home.
  • dusting - Regular dusting is critical for dust control.  The best methods are those that do not cause the dust to become airborne.  Use microfibre cloths (eco-friendly), disposable Swiffer cloths, damp dusting using a solution of Murphy's oil soap not spray dusters or your vacuum cleaner attachments. 
  • filters - Filters are paramount especially if you have HVAC (forced air and heat).  Use a good quality allergen reducer (HEPA) filter on the furnace as well as filters on the floor/ceiling heating vents and air returns.  This essentially filters your air three times and can be quite effective at reducing household dust.  Be sure to change the filters as needed.  Use a vacuum cleaner with a filtering system preferably HEPA.  There are special filters available for windows as well so you can have your windows open for fresh air without letting dust and allergens in.
  • reduce the clutter - It goes without saying but the less dust collectors you have the better.  Use closed glass cabinets for those items you want on display then keep all other items to a minimum. 
  • reduce textiles - All textiles (eg. upholstered furniture, towels, carpeting and etc.) attract dust as well as produce dust as they wear down.  The less of these types of items you have the better when it comes to household dust control.  Use allergen reducing covers on all pillows and mattresses.  Air fluff throw pillows and comforters in the dryer to freshen and remove dust that has settled on them.  Stuffed animals can also be air fluffed to remove dust.  Replace fabric upholstered furniture with leather, naughihide, vinyl, wook or wicker.  Replace carpeting with hard flooring and keep the use of area rugs or mats to a minimum. 

Garden Gnome