The next worst offender in the ingress of dirt into our homes are airborne particles and they enter through multiple sources.Â First and foremost are open windows.Â Unfortunately, it’s the one we can do the least about except to keep them closed.Â I love open windows when there is a nice breeze but screens do nothing to keep dirt, dust, pollen or smoke from entering our homes.Â So if it’s nice enough to open the windows I just plan on doing a little extra cleaning.Â The other sources of airborne dirt we can take steps to mitigate:
- Caulk any cracks around doors and windows and make sure they are properly fitted with weather stripping.Â This helps your heating and cooling efficiency as well as keeping dirt out.
- Change your HVAC filter every month, more often if the weather has been particularly dry.Â I prefer a permanent washable filter over the disposables for ecological reasons.
- Vacuum inside the heating and air conditioing duct work a couple of times a year.Â Check for cracks, holes or any openings that may allow dirt to enter from under the house.Â Seal with duct tape.Â While you’re under the house why not insulate the duct work to preserve the heat or coolness of the air travelling through it.Â You HVAC unit won’t have to work so hard and you’ll save money.
- Make sure your clothes dryer and range hood are properly vented to the outside.
- Always use a splatter cover when cooking with any oils or fats on top of the stove.
- If you smoke . . . consider quitting.Â Or at least not smoking inside.Â At the very least, only smoke in one room, preferably one with the least amount of fabric (upholstery, carpet, and drapes soak up tar and nicotine and odor like wicks) and get yourself a negative ion generator.Â A negative ion generator is a small electric device that spits negative ions out into the air.Â The negative ions attach to smoke and dust particles in the air.Â The combined weight of the particle with a negative ion makes it drop straight to the floor where it stays until the next time you vacuum.