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Dusting, Filters, and Indoor Air Quality

Improving the quality of your indoor air can actually be far simpler than cleaning out the air ducts and replacing your air filter. While both of those things are essential, and you should get your ventilation system cleaned every three to five years, there are things you can do regularly to keep the quality of air in your home clean and clear. Dusting and vacuuming, while not enjoyable for everyone, leave you with clean air and a sparkling home. So today, we wanted to give you a few pointers on dusting to reduce air contaminants and leave your home beautiful for the next set of friends you invite over.

How to Dust Properly

Ceilings

Always take things from the top. Start at the topmost room of your house and dust ceiling fixtures first. That way, as you stir up additional dust (because it’s almost impossible not to do so), all that dust will settle in the next area you’ll be cleaning.

You want to use tools which trap dust. Feather dusters made from ostrich feathers are ideal. Microfiber cloths work extremely well for capturing, rather than stirring up dust. If you’re a bit short of either, a used fabric softener sheet from the dryer will do a decent job because of the high levels of static electricity on the sheet.

Since you want to start with ceiling fixtures first, a long-handled duster, specifically with a bend for reaching into corners or on the top side of ceiling fan blades is ideal. For a quick, home-made duster to remove webs and dust from ceiling corners, take a broom handle, remove the head, and place a sock (turned inside-out) over the end. You’ll still need a chair to dust your ceiling fans and light fixtures, but the corners and molding nearest your ceiling is now within easy reach!

Walls

Some will argue that you should dust the walls themselves as well. If you want to wash your walls that’s fine, but for a simple cleaning it isn’t necessary. When we say to dust the walls, we’re talking about the things on them. Use the attachments on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum out the dust from curtains and drapes. Remove any wall hangings and fixtures and dust their surfaces. That includes mirrors, picture frames, light sconces, and any other decoration. Whether it’s a simple poster tacked to the wall, or a full coat-of-arms, it needs to be dusted.

Furniture

All of your furniture needs to be dusted as well. Anything you’ve stirred up from the fixtures above, will have settled onto waist level or ground furniture by now. Return to your vacuum cleaner’s attachments for removing dust from fabrics on couches, chairs, and beds. Of course, if you have slip-covers (or for bedding), a thorough washing is the best method.

If there’s a heavy layer of dust, you’ll want to make multiple passes, once with a light touch to capture as much dust or move it into a bin, and then a second time to clear away the remaining layer. Now is a great time to polish or add a protective layer to any wooden surfaces, before you return decorations to your counters, desks, and dressers. Be aware that if you choose to use a damp cloth, it should be damp, not dripping wet. You need to be able to capture dirt without leaving water on the surface. Excess water stands a risk of mold and mildew later. Dry surfaces if you see any water left on them, especially if you’re cleaning a wooden surface.

Floors

Last of all, you need to clean the floors. Carpeting will require vacuuming (no need to shampoo the floors today) while wooden or marble floors will need to be swept and mopped to remove all the dust. The same goes for vacuuming rugs and sweeping underneath them. For prevention, placing mats on both sides of your front entrance and leaving shoes at the door is a good way to prevent carpets and floors from gaining extra dust and dirt quickly.

Air Filtration

Of course, keeping your indoor air clean will also reduce how often you need to dust your home in the first place. Keeping pets brushed, floors vacuumed, and windows closed are all effective methods of preventing dusty buildup in the home. But you’ll also want to keep your ventilation system clean and clear.

Your air filter needs to be changed out every three to six months, depending on how much you use your central air system. During the winter months, you’ll especially want to keep the filter clear since you’ll be using the heat quite a bit. A clogged air filter doesn’t just make your furnace work harder, it hampers your system’s ability to keep the air clean. Over time a dirty air filter will fail to remove dust and debris from the air at all, depositing it back into the room and within your air ducts.

Keeping a clean filter means you’ll need to get your ducts cleaned less often, pushing that three to five year maintenance up to the full five years. It’s a good idea to have the vents inspected every year though, typically in the fall.


Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both Value and Customer Service! Call us to maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in the Champaign, IL area:(217) 866-1596.

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