Asked on Oct 25, 2012

Constant dust in the house, and I know it is comeing from forced hot air vent and the AC. How would one go about trying

Terri J
by Terri J
to get rid of it and a financial leash? I do change the filter's regulary, but would it be worth attempting to save the money to have duct work properly cleaned out? Or should I just always carry a dust rag and wipe things down a couple times a week, which doesn't really bother me either?
  13 answers
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Oct 25, 2012
    One thing that does help is cleaning the registries on the floors. I use a vacuum and vacuum them out. You wouldn't believe how nasty they get. I do this and it helps cut out dust and crude. Of course professional companies do this but I have found if I do this monthly it really cuts down on dust.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 25, 2012
    The type of filter used also plays a big role...HEPA type filters retain smaller dust particles. Window sealing is another way to reduce wind driven stuff from outside. Carpets alos harbour dust thatr wood floors do going that route also helps. we have two woodstoves which contribute fine ash in the summer we have open windows and live on a dirt the winter the woodstoves. All of this is compounded by three furry dogs...sometime you just have to live with it.
  • Terri J Terri J on Oct 25, 2012
    Thank you Sherrie and KMS. I do vacuum out registers, but onlly once every few months. Kevin, I had two shedding dogs in here and three years later, still find dog hair once in a while - thanks to carpeting. Wish I kniew then, what I know now - would have had hardwood and tile combination throughout the house.. I will live w/ it, but have to waicth it, due to allergiesm etc,
  • Terri, A few things can be causing the dust. Area climates, leaking ducts and poor fitter mounting, and poor air sealing in the house. Duct cleaning can be an option, however it rarely does any real good. Where it makes a difference is when the ducts are really dirty with animal hair and dander. Most dust that does settle within the air system settles out and never blows out the grills. If that was the case, the ducts would remain clean all the time with the air flow blowing the duct clean. Filters do make a big difference. A good quality pleated 3M type is about the best you can get without installing a high end Hepa filter that commonly is four inches thick. However the high efficiency filters must be installed properly with the correct mounting system or the dusty air will bypass the filter and take the path of least resistance. So if you have a loose filter holder, or a door that does not fit tight that allows air to enter in that area, your loosing most of your filtering capacity. Leaking air ducts also can contribute to dusty homes and poor air flow and comfort. Using a foil tape or duct sealer sold at most home centers now. Seal all duct joints. End to end along with both air supply as well as return. Lots of dust enters and heating energy is loss out every one of those fittings. Lastly air sealing of the house. Remember a house is a big chimney of sorts. As air is allowed to vent out of the attic, and when the wind blows outside your home allows all sorts of outside pollutants to be drawn into the home. By proper air sealing this air entry that contains dust will also diminish and so will the dust within the house that you see.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Oct 26, 2012
    I cleaned a house that was 15 yrs old and it still had building material in the ducts from when they built it. Woodbridge is probably spot on with his advice. I always check all vents including bathrooms and clean and vacuum them. Good luck when you find a solution I would be curious to know what it is.
  • Terri J Terri J on Oct 26, 2012
    Sherrie, Between KMS and Woodbridge lies the answer - 1) There is a rock quarry they still blast from about 1.5 miles from the house 2) air leaks 3) were shedding dogs for 9 years here and the list continues. I believe for me, that I will just have to live w/ it for now, as I like having open windows and dorrs when the weather permits.
  • Rivka I Rivka I on Oct 26, 2012
    Also check around your outlets, light switches, doors and windows for leaks.
  • Jimmy S Jimmy S on Oct 26, 2012
    I had one improvement guy tell me that even we are a major carrier of bringing dust in, not to mention we shed too, and by the time you add animals too. Its impossible to get rid of dust. He said for every person and hairy animal you have, expect to dust that many days in the week. I have 5 people in the house but no inside pets so essentially by his theory I have to dust 5 out of 7 days. Who knows if he is right? just a thought
  • Terri J Terri J on Oct 26, 2012
    This question has been answered. Conclusion: allergies or not, I will have to live w/ it, but I am taking the suggestions ya'll provided me w/ to help allievieate the amount. Thank you everyone!!!!
    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 22, 2015
      @Terri J My friends got a special filter unit installed on their furnace. It was extremely effective. Don't know what they paid.
  • I second the suggestion of using the 3M filters, it has been my experience that they are hands down the best you can get in a 1" application. They range in price some are as much as $25 but why don't you try one in the $15-$20 range and see if it helps. Also you may consider leaving the fan switch set to the on position for a few days at a time. The indoor blower can handle it, it wont effect your power hardly at all but it gives the filter a better chance to get the stuff out of the air. Hope this helps!
  • Terri J Terri J on Oct 27, 2012
    Thank you Emperor for adding to this - your suggestion will also be put into action to set the fan on for a few days. I am going to 3M filters as well - I need to remember my old view point - "You get what you pay for." Saving a few dollars by buying inexpensive filters isn't worth it!!!!
  • Rivka I Rivka I on Oct 28, 2012
    Something I forgot to mention is that dust is 70% dead skin cells. If you have a pet then you will be adding to that. If you are looking for drafts just get a stick of incense, light it then move around your house testing outlets, light switches, windows and doors.
  • Espie Tamayo Espie Tamayo on Dec 19, 2015
    We also had a real dust problem in our 42 year old house. We used good filters and it helped some, but not enough. Finally we called Blackmon Mooring and had them come out and clean all the vents. We were astonished to see all the dust and debris they were able to remove. It wasn't cheap, but we're breathing so much better now, and don't have to dust as often.