Where does dust come from? is a frequently asked question
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Seriously, Where Does Dust Come from?

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Dust is everywhere. It’s on countertops. It’s on floors. It’s on walls and fans. It’s in your air ducts. It’s on your rugs, carpets, furniture and furnace filters. But where does all this dust come from? That’s a question you’ve probably asked, and it’s unlikely you have found a complete answer yet. But you’re here. This post will discuss where dust actually comes from and how to remove it.


So, What’s Dust?


Simply defined, dust refers to the superfine particles naturally found in the local environment. They are very light; much lighter than air. For that reason, every little disturbance kicks these particles into the air, where they may stay suspended for quite some time. You can only see the particles after they have been accumulating for a while.


Household Dust


Here are some of the materials found in household dirt. It may contain dead skin cells from humans. Did you know that humans, just like pets, shed? It may also contain fibers from your carpets, rugs, clothing, draperies, furniture and other sources. These small fibers break down over time, becoming dust. 

Also, there are microscopic organisms (arachnids) that eat dead human skin cells. In the end, droppings from these little creatures become dirt. Insect droppings are another source of household dirt. Pets such as dogs and cats also shed, releasing tons of pet dander. If you own a pet that sheds, the dust in your home will always have a bit of pet dander. And pet dander is know to trigger allergic reactions.


Outdoor Dust


Some of the dust outside your home ends up inside the home. The wind blows where it wills, and sometimes, that’s into your home. Outdoor carries various elements including plant pollen, mold spores, and pollutants. During spring, allergy sufferers tend to sneeze and cough more than they normally do. That’s because the air outside and possibly inside their homes contains soil or plant pollen.

Also, the smoke and fumes produced by automobiles become heavy, black dust. Decaying vegetation, and there’s always something decaying out there, produces mold spores. Soil also produces mold spores. In short, outdoor air carries tons of pollen (sometimes), dirty elements from pollution, and mold spores.


Dust is Natural in Origin, Researchers Say


A couple years back, scientists from Ohio State University uncovered certain facts about dust that deepened their understanding of it. The researchers found that dirt is natural in origin. We will see learn about the various elements found in these particles in the sections that follow.

But why does understanding dust help anyone anyway? Researchers can learn more about respiratory diseases. Who knows, researchers might just discover ways of making better, more effective air purifiers. When that happens, everyone including asthma sufferers will no longer worry about indoor allergens. With the best air purifiers the world has ever seen, it would be very easy to remove particulate matter from the air. But we digress. Let’s see what the researchers at Ohio State University discovered.


Dust Contains Mainly Organic Matter, Quartz, and Human-made Chemicals


The Ohio University researchers had not set out to study dust. No. They were trying to test a certain type of sensor. In the process, dust got trapped inside the sensor. Fortunately, the researchers found a way to measure the composition of individual particles. Here’s what they discovered. Can you believe they were able to identify 63! different particles in individual particles? But what components come together to form these particles?

According to one of the researchers, dirt particles have organic matter as their most common component. Quartz is the second most common component. More than 50 percent of the particles classified contained quartz and organic matter. The researchers also detected human-made chemicals whose origin they attributed to air pollution. Analyses also revealed that the particles under examination contained small amounts of construction materials fertilizers.


So, Where Does Dust Come from?


It comes from many different sources. It comes from roads, construction projects, wind, attics, basements, fibers, and decomposing insects. It may also come from insects, pollen, pets, ducts and vents, knick knacks, electronics, carpeting, and clothes dryers. Aside from that, it’s possible you live in a state that generally sees more dust than others.

Some states experience dry, windy conditions. Home owners in such states generally get more dust than people living in other areas. People living in states with dessert-like climate have a bigger problem than those who live in other places. Similarly, a homeowner living in a southwestern state has big indoor air quality challenges to address. So does someone living in any of the coastal states in the south. These states are mostly dry and windy, and people there see a lot more dirt than elsewhere in the country. But no matter where you live, you’ll have indoor air quality problems to solve.


Dust is Bad — You Want to Remove it from Your Indoor Air


You likely vacuum clean your home regularly to eliminate dirt. But as soon you remove the fine particles from your surfaces, spaces, nooks and crannies, they start building up again. Now, whether you have breathing difficulties or not, you don’t want unclean air in your home. You want the air inside there smelling clean, fresh, and healthy.

Dust can make your life really uncomfortable for you and you family. It may cause irritation in your eyes. You may also have an itchy or running nose. Also, you won’t avoid colds if the air inside your home carries loads of fine particles. Worst of all, these particles often worsen allergy symptoms.


5 Effective Ways of Removing Dust from the Air


You want to get rid of all kinds of dust if you want an indoor environment that feels clean. Here are five ways to keep it out of your home and improve the air quality.


Clean Your Duct Work, but there are no Cast-iron Guarantees


Some experts recommend that people should have their duct work cleaned once every three years. But the United States Environmental Protection Agency offers a different advice. The EPA thinks you shouldn’t worry about cleaning your ducts unless there’s a considerable amount of it in there.

Cleaning your ducts tends to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. When your system is working efficiently, you’ll likely see less airborne dust in your rooms. That said, you need to know that there are cast-iron guarantees when it comes to the issue of cleaning your ducts.


Using a Suitable Air Purifier May Help You Remove Dust from Your Indoor Air


So you’re looking to remove dust from the air circulating in the entire house. In that case, you’re going to need to use air purifiers in every room. That’s because an air purifier is not very effective if the space is too large. That’s why you need to buy the right size for your room.

You may use a whole-house system to purify your indoor air. Or you may buy several efficient (preferably those with True HEPA filters) air purifiers and put them in different rooms. That way, cleaning your indoor air becomes much easier.

While shopping, you want to buy the best air purifier for dust you can find. And that’s where detailed air purifier reviews like this one here come in.


Introduce Houseplants to Your Indoor Environment


If you’re looking for a natural air cleaner, look no further than plants. Research reveals that plants are an effective way of removing dust from air. That means you should be using them to improve tour indoor air quality. You need plants with leaves with a large surface area. Such plants, unsurprisingly, remove more dust from air than plants with narrower leaves.

If you can’t seem to decide on a specific choice right now, here are a few options to consider. You can introduce a snake plant, a ZZ plant, asparagus fern, the peace lily, and cast iron plant. If taking care of indoor plants isn’t your thing, consider choosing either a snake plant or ZZ plant. That’s because these plants don’t need much care to thrive.


Use Quality HVAC Filters


The filters you use with your HVAC system significantly affect how much dust gets eliminated. You want to buy quality air filters and have them installed by a professional. Normally, the technician connects the filter directly to your duct work. You can also choose to use disposable filters to improve your indoor air quality.

You want to pick disposable filters made from paper or fabric as opposed to those made from fiberglass. But why? Because filters made from paper or fabric tend to be more effective than their fiberglass counterparts. If you have pets around the home, check your filters from time to time and replace them where necessary.


Choose the Right Window Screens


Window screens don’t normally remove dust from air. However, the right window screens may reduce the amount of dust that enters your home from outside. Recently, scientists from the U.S. and China developed super thin, insanely efficient windscreens.

These windscreens can remove up to 90 percent of the particulate matter that pass through regular window screens. The new window screens are pollutant-absorbing nanofibers that get sprayed onto standard window screens to improve them. Maybe it’s high time you upgraded to these improve window screens.


Final Thoughts on Where Dust Comes from and How to Remove It


Dust is everywhere.  It aggravates allergies and leads to colds and irritation in people’s eyes. It’s a problem that needs a quick solution. Cleaning is effective, but the problem keeps coming back. Using an air purifier is a great way to keep your air clean and fresh after you’ve cleaned your home.  You can easily find the best air purifiers for dust or upgrade to more efficient window screens. Using quality HVAC filters and having houseplants around also helps. So does cleaning your air ducts.