Why do I have so much dust???

Vicki__ILApril 7, 2003

HELP!! It seems that my house is dusty all the time and I can't figure out why! I can dust and 2 - 3 days later it doesn't even look like it's been touched. I vacuum and do all those good things, but this is the first place that I've lived that I've had a problem like this. I don't like in the country and I don't live on a dusty road. I don't know what to do about it. I'm 54 years-old and never thought I'd be writing and asking for help about dusting of all things!!



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Check your dryer's vent and hose. My house was clouding up with dust; I could write on the furniture the day after polishing it.

I checked the dryer in the basement. The hose had been cut when they hooked it up. It was a small (2-3 inch long) slit on the back side of the hose down near the dryer connector. DH patched it up with several windings of duct tape and the dust problem cleared right up.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 10:23PM
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If your house is an old one, it can be the cause of a lot of dust, as timber and paint etc dry out. If your house is located in a windy area, the wind will carry with it a lot of dust. Is there insulation in the ceiling which might be beyond its use-by date? Are the carpets very old - if so, both it and the underlay might be in need of replacing - they will throw up a lot of dust every time you walk on it. If you don't have a lot of lawn or gardens, you won't get much protection from dust. If you live in or near an industrial area, or where there are busy roads, you'll get a lot of dust. If the house is build up on stumps, with just dirt underneath, you might get little wind eddies under there which throw up a lot of dust. Is there a large construction site in the area somewhere, which could be throwing up a lot of dust? Remember, dust can travel hundreds of miles, so take note of wind direction and see where it might be coming from. Also, if you have that much dust, make sure to clean the backs of refrigerator and other electrical appliances on a regular basis, or you may have a potential fire-danger. And if you use a clothes-dryer a lot, that could definitely be a cause. Try hanging clothes outside to dry and see if it makes a difference. Also check that your vacuum cleaner is working properly. The brushes might be clogged, the fanbelt may need changing, the dust-bag may need emptying more often, or it may simply be an inefficient design, spreading more dust than it collects.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2003 at 3:53AM
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Last summer I bought a new vaccum cleaner called a Thermax.It has no bags because it has a bucket water is placed in and the dirt and so forth is blown into the bucket of water.I could not believe the dust that my Bissellblew into the air everytime I turned it on until the salesman showed me.My Thermax doesn't do this.Plus I can put this scent into the water that freshens the air while I vaccum.Whenever I choose I can disconnect the hose and simply place the air freshner into the water and roll the machine into the middle of the room and turn it on.It does this "air wash" thing that pulls the dust out of the air.And as long as I do this at least once a week throughout the house my dust problem is no problem.The only part I don't like is that it's a canister type and the washing out of the bucket,"GROSS".But I can see what I've picked up.It wasn't cheap but I got it because we do live in the country and an old house and we have respiratory problems in the family.Plus it doesn't hurt my hardwood floors.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2003 at 7:06PM
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Also, in some houses, there's dust from the drywall that's inside the walls, and it floats out or is forced out by the forced-air heating system.

Be sure you have good filters (and change them often) if you have forced-air heat.

Caulk really well around baseboards and doors and windows, to minimize air movement into the room from the wall cavities.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 8:10PM
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It could be the furnace filter. My new furnace with electromagnetic filter keeps my house clean for a week (except the bedroom).

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 2:31AM
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Yeah -- what is it with my bedroom? Every weekend I spend a major amount of time dusting in there. It seems like it only takes a few hours until I see dust again. The rest of the house isn't like that.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2003 at 7:06PM
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that's because you spend 8 hours a day in the BR, and that's where you rub your skin w/ fabric (getting dressed and un-, lying on the sheets, etc.) Most of dust is skin cells, etc. You're scraping them off in there, but not as much anywhere else.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2003 at 4:40PM
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My husband has a duct cleaning business. The ducts in your home can have a lot of molds, dust, etc in them. Many people with allergies swear by it. If you ever get it done make sure you use truck with bags on top. Others charge less for a shop vac type cleaning which doesn't compare to the suction of a powerful truck. Lots of new houses have a lot of dust in the vents from sheetrock, sanding, etc. Some builders will have it done prior to selling.

Also, it is true you should clean your furnace filters regularly. It does make a difference. Check them and see if they are dirty.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2003 at 12:25AM
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The other reason for bedroom dust is a lot of dust is raised in changing and making beds. It is very important to make sure your furnace filters are clean and fresh. We have an air cleaner and I leave the furnace fan running continuously when the air or heat is on, it really does help keep things fresher and cleaner.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 12:50AM
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Scott, thanks for another good reason for not making my bed! LOL :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 4:06PM
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When we had lots of construction going on within a half mile of our house--lots of developments--I had a real dust problem. Those bulldozers kicked up lots of dust, not to mention the dynamite.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 1:01AM
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Hubby is very allergic to dust. So, we tiled all of our floors (zero carpet in the house) and moved the dryer to the garage. Also put in 4 lawns outdoors to reduce the amount of dirt and dust tracked in. We do not have forced air heat (we are on slab with a flat roof. Heating is baseboard).

Let me tell you that after all of that the reduction in the amount of dust was so significant that he was able to almost stop using his asthma meds. Not only that, but I only dust once every 3-4 weeks and when I do, there is nothing there!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 1:57PM
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Here in the west we have major dust and a lot of the dust problem is caused by our cooling systems. They are a pad that is wet and air drawn thru to cool the air. I put furnace filters in the heating ducts to help keep some of the dust out. Remove the vent cover, cut filter to size and put it in. Works great.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2003 at 12:37AM
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I know i'm a little late answering this, but.......we recently moved into a new house......no trees around us yet. I could literally dust every day!!!!! Of course I dont........anyway,I have been told the house is still settling, and no wind block due to lack of trees - both causing tons of dust. I'm a little worried about my electronic appliances if my furniture looks this bad....Been here 8 months and already had to replace the vacuum, got a goose feather duster, a swifter and God only knows what else!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, not sure you said how old your house was ?(?) maybe there is something there.......

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 6:23PM
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i simply can not believe the dust in my 6 month old house!! it is amazing-and i thought new houses stayed clean all the time!! what a disappointment! but there are new houses going in and out landscaping is still marginal. i am sad though that there is dirt in-between the windows..hate stuff like that.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 10:17PM
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I've found the biggest difference in the amount of dust in my home is made by cleaning the furnace filter regularly and changing to a vac cleaner that does NOT allow dirt to get back outside of the tank. My old vac just spewed dust behind it. By using the vac for dusting, it is really making a difference.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2003 at 12:30AM
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What color is your dust?

Yellow Dust: You're closer to a dusty road than you think. I was 1/4 mile off of one, but the prevailing winds brought in the dust -- close the windows on that side. Never dust with a dry dust cloth.... rinse out a washrag size cloth with water, wring dry, then dust. Rinse the rag frequently. No sense just pushing the dust around with a dry rag or dustcloth. (Swiffer Duster doesn't work beyond simple surface light dust.

Grey dust: Just dirt dust. If you've got a neighbor like mine that has a dog, close the windows nearest the mutt.

Black dust: Are you within 25 miles of an airport and like to watch the planes land??? They dump fuel - that's the black dust areas. Had that in two places. Wipe windowsills every three days and see --- If your cloth is black, nothing you can do about it except close your windows, run your A/C or heat, or dust every 2 days.

Hope any of this helps.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 4:43AM
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I had a friend who hired a company come with their big vacum truck and suck out her hvac lines. AS I've noticed, the duct work in houses is usually already in before the sheet rock is finished and hardwood floors sanded. Therefore, lots of dust settles into the duct work. My friend is a consumate housekeeper, but she said you wouldn't believe the stuff that came out of her ducts and most of it was from sheetrocking when they built the house years ago!!! Getting your duct work cleaned might help. Also, we lived in an old (125 years old) house once that only had plank boards on the ceiling. Whenever I dusted, the next day everything was dusty again. AFter DH sheetrocked the ceilings, problem stopped. So nice to know all the gunk in the attic was sifting down on us!!!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 9:33AM
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i would reccomend that you change your furnace filters regularly and buy an expensive one that removes smaller particles. i also reccomend a hepa air filter - they are expensive but they are worth it. my husband has asthma and i have allergies and we too have eliminated carpet - we have either hard wood floor or ceramic tiles - much easier to clean and easier on our sinuses...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2004 at 11:11PM
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Better yet, get rid of the forced air all together. My husband is severely allergic to dust and he cannot tolerate being in a house with forced air heat. Our last house had radient heating in the floor and the current one has electric baseboards.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 12:29AM
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I can definitely vouch for having your ducts cleaned. With an older house, God knows what is inside of it. And iwth a newer house, could be drywall dust, etc.

What I would also ask for those with older homes, is do you have newer windows?

Our first house was over 50 years old, had hardwood floors and orignal casement windows. I would vacuum and dust and the next morning, dust all over those floors. Looked like I had never vacuumed at all. Drove me nuts.

Then we had our windows replaced with new vinyl. Swear to God, my dust problem was reduced by more than half. Had the ducts blown. That helped. Had the filters changed to an electrostatic HEPA (which we washed monthly). Have to tell you that the dust situation was night and day.

New windows can be expensive, but between the savings in heating costs, the decreased dust level AND the decrease in ambient street noise, I was in heaven.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 10:29PM
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Hello Vicki,

Go to my site to get good info
for your situation.
Hope this can give you some help!

Here is a link that might be useful: dusttest

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:38PM
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