dusty air vent register

How Spring Cleaning Improves Your Indoor Air Quality

Forty pounds. Studies have revealed that this is how much dust collects in the average American home each year. If this alone doesn’t have you reaching for the nearest vacuum cleaner, consider this: for all the dust you can see coating surfaces in your home, there is plenty of dust circulating throughout your home’s air at any given moment.

While spring-cleaning may not be everyone’s favorite pastime, a good, deep-clean can be beneficial for your home’s indoor air quality. Below, we’ll examine what makes up dust in most homes and what benefits spring cleaning can offer in terms of healthier indoor air.

What makes up dust?

Dust might appear to be just specks of dirt. In reality, along with dirt, dust is comprised of numerous particles, including dead skin cells, bacteria, remnants of dead spiders and insects, pollen, hair, clothing fibers, dust mites, and even tiny pieces of plastic.

Harmful chemicals compounds (including VOCs) can also travel with dust through your home’s air. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) rise off of many seemingly harmless sources in homes, such as standard interior paint, furniture made of pressed or engineered wood, area rugs, air fresheners, and cleaning products. These harmful compounds have a strong tendency to stick to airborne dust particles, and from there, it’s an easy trip into anyone’s respiratory system.

People who are exposed to VOCs can suffer a wide range of adverse health effects. On the more mild end of the spectrum, people can experience symptoms like headaches or irritation of the eyes, throat, or nose. Other effects can be much more severe, including cancer and damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system.

How can spring cleaning help?

A little dust begets more dust. This is because dust particles attract each other. When attacking a dust problem, it’s important to be thorough, and that’s where the ritual of spring cleaning comes into play.

True spring cleaning involves a deep clean of your home from top to bottom--moving furniture and getting up on stools and underneath beds to chase out the dust from every nook and cranny. This will prevent the formation of “dust bunnies” and also prevent dust particles from being kicked up into the air as your family moves around your home.

Pro Tip: Ditch the feather duster and opt for dusters and cloths made of microfiber. This material will be much more effective than feathers at attracting and clinging onto dust particles.

Did you know…

A poorly maintained HVAC system can also create a dust problem in your home. Make sure to change your air filter regularly and to get your equipment professionally serviced to prevent dust buildup.

For expert AC installation, repair, or maintenance in Austin, call 1st Home & Commercial Services at (512) 957-2992.

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