Our homes require a seamlessly endless series of chores, and one of the most frequent is dusting. It sometimes seems that we need to dust our homes every day to keep it clean and tidy. But, if you are struggling to keep your home free from dust, your HVAC system may be contributing to the problem. In this article, we will take a look at why this may be happening and some tips on how you can regain control over the dust in your home.
Checking Your HVAC System
If you want to look for clues about the consistent replacement of dust in your home, it’s a great idea to check your HVAC filter first. An HVAC filter should be cleaned or replaced as required at least once per month in the average home. But, if you have a busy home that’s very dusty or there are a lot of pets sharing your spaces, you may need to change the air filter more often. The more people that you have living in your home, the more dead skin that will be generated, and this is the primary source of dust. As far as pets go, they do shed a considerable amount of hair, and this can clog the filter.
A modern HVAC system functions in a circulatory manner, fresh air is brought in from outside, it’s treated (hot or cold), distributed throughout the home, and the process is then repeated. So, and loose skin, hair or other debris is gathered up and recycled into your indoor air, All of the air in your home will pass through the HVAC air filter multiple times in a single day. This means that the debris may quickly clog the filter and prevent it from working.
If the air filter is clogged, it will be less effective, and this is a problem for your HVAC system. Many people believe that the air filter’s primary function is to clean the air in their homes. This isn’t correct; an air filter prevents material from entering the HVAC system where it could cause damage to sensitive components. Another problem is that the HVAC system needs fresh air to breathe. When the system cannot move enough air it will attempt to compensate by working harder, A HVAC system that’s overworked is more prone to failure, this can lead to expensive repairs and even a premature replacement in extreme cases.
Examining and Cleaning the Air Filter
The exact location of every air filter is different for each make and model of HVAC system. The full instructions for locating, cleaning, and changing your air filter are in the owner’s manual for your heating and cooling equipment. If you’ve mislaid the owner’s manual, check the manufacturer’s website, and download a pdf. Once you’ve located the air filter, take it out and examine it carefully. It’s likely that the surface is covered with dust, pet hair, and other debris that has been removed from the circulation of air in your home. If the air filter is clogged, it means that the filter can no longer remove any dust from your indoor air, and this may be why your home is dusty.
There are many different typès of air filters available, and they all have a MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particulates that the filter removes from the air. Upgrading to a high MERV air filter may seem like a great idea, but there is a caveat that you need to be aware of before making this choice. A better air filter will remove more dust and debris, but the system will have to work harder to force the air through the air filter. This can drive up your energy bills and overwork your HVAC system leading to reliability issues. So, it’s important to use an air filter that’s appropriate for your HVAC system, and this will be detailed in the owner’s manual.
The size of the air filter is usually printed somewhere on the unit and in the manual. It’s important to use an air filter that’s the correct size for your HVAC system. If there are gaps around the edge of the filter, a seal cannot be created, and this will allow the air to go around the filter entirely. This would allow particulates to enter the HVAC system, and this could damage the components leading to an unnecessary repair. A poorly fitted air filter will also contribute to your dusty home issues because the dust will simply be circulated throughout your home continuously.
3 Ways to Control Dust with Your HVAC System
The air filter is the first aspect of your HVAC system to check if you have excessive dust problems in your home. But, there are three other tips that you can use to get your HVAC system to help you get control over a dusty home.
- Seal Leaky Ductwork
The treated air is distributed throughout the home via a network of ducts, and a leak in the ductwork can allow this air to escape. This is a common issue, gaps from due to poor installation, damage, or the passage of time. Any leaky gaps in your ductwork allow the air to effectively bypass the air filter and move dust around your home. This can lead to exceptionally dusty attic and basement areas where the dust is stored. If you examine your vents, you may see dust on the fins or around the vent. Locating the leaks can be tricky, a temporary repair with duct tape can help, but it’s a better idea to contact a local HVAC specialist to carry out a repair and clean the ducts.
- A Smarter Dusting Technique
The next time you dust, make sure the air filter is clean and set the fan on the thermostat to the “On “ setting before you begin. This will help you to catch more dust because any disturbed dust will entire the HVAC system and get caught in the air filter as you are cleaning. After you’ve finished, set the thermostat fan back to “Auto” and clean the air filter again.
- A Dry Home Loves Dust
If your home is too dry, this is a problem because dust moves freely in a dry environment. If there is a little humidity in the air, the dust will settle easily, and this makes it easier to trap in your air filter. If you have problems with a home that’s too dry, consult a local HVAC specialist and ask them about a humidifier for your HVAC system.