You clean and vacuum your house every day, still it is always dusty. Having a dusty home is a problem that many homeowners face. They try just about every trick in the book. They take their shoes off before entering the house, wash their dog and use air cleaners and HEPA vacuum cleaners. Still they can’t keep their home free of dust.

Dust not only makes your home unattractive, but also causes several diseases. Most people are allergic to dust. If your indoors are dusty, you may develop respiratory problems. Dusty air also worsens the symptoms of asthma.

If your vacuum cleaner can’t reduce the dust levels inside your home, you should see if there is a problem with your air handling system. Maybe there is a leaky duct.

When your ducts are leaky, they will suck dust from the attic and distribute it throughout the house. Your air handler may have a good filtration system. Still, the duct can suck dust from places that do not usually get filtered.

Before calling a HVAC contractor, here are a few things you can do yourself.

Check if there is a leak

On a windy day in the winter, turn off your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump. Can you feel a cool breeze coming in? It could be from one of your air registers. If the duct system is completely sealed, cold air can never blow in. Of course, when the ducts are cold, cold air can drip in. But if you can correlate the cold air blowing in with the wind blowing outside, you have leaks.

Leaky ducts are a common problem. Studies have shown that about 20% of the air going through forced air systems is lost through leaks around fittings. These leaks allow cooled or heated air to escape. They also draw dirty air in. A heating contractor will be able to pinpoint the problem by pressure testing your system. If you have leaks, you should seal every accessible joint with foil tape or HVAC mastic. Duct tape is not suitable for this purpose. It will eventually dry out and fail.

Replace your filter

Forced air systems can blow dust around. You can achieve a significant improvement in dust control by installing a paper filter or a pleated fabric. It carries an electrostatic charge which attracts and captures dust. Cheap spun-fiberglass filters can only trap big dust particles. They don’t do anything to improve the quality of indoor air. So use high quality filters.

Change your filters every 3 months. You should also check them for dirt monthly. This is especially important if you share your room with pet animals. Make sure that you replace the filters whenever they get dirty.

If a duct is not accessible, you will need to hire an expert who can seal it from inside with an aerosol spray. Besides making your home dusty, leaky ducts will increase your utility bills. Your duct system is supposed to be completely sealed. If you suspect leaks, fix them immediately.

If you are handy, you will be able to do this on your own. That said, you will probably have to hire a contractor to fix ducts in the attic.


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