Unfortunately, dust is ubiquitous in homes all over the world. No matter how diligently we clean our houses, dust always returns, coating our surfaces and rarely used items and making us sneeze.
In addition to being unpleasant to look at, dust can have health consequences for many people, particularly those who are susceptible to allergies and asthma. In this article, find out more about what types of particulates constitute dust and how air purifiers can help eliminate it from your home and the air you breathe.
What is dust?
Dust is a combination of an extremely wide variety of particles that come from both outside and inside the house. The exact composition of dust varies from home to home, depending on the presence of carpets and pets, smoking habits and other environmental factors.
Generally speaking, around 60% of the dust in our homes comes from outside, tracked in on our shoes and clothes and carried on the air through doors, windows, vents and HVAC systems. Particles from outside can include pollen, mold spores, dirt, exhaust, organic debris and traces of pesticides.
Particles indoors can flake off of items as they deteriorate, such as books, carpets and furniture. Living creatures are also significant generators of dust particles—skin cells, hair and fur from humans and pets, bacteria, dust mites, insect body parts and fecal matter.
Allergens in dust
Several of the most common particles present in dust are allergens that can cause uncomfortable symptoms in susceptible people. Many people are allergic to dust mites, mold, pollen or pet dander, and exposure to these particles can cause the following symptoms, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology:
- Runny nose and congestion
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy skin and eczema flare-ups
- Wheezing, shortness of breath and asthma
Air purifiers can be particularly useful for mitigating symptoms and reactions in people with allergies and asthma.
Dust mites are the most common dust-related allergen. They are microscopic arthropods that thrive in warm, humid environments. They are often found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture, where they feed on flakes of dead skin shed by humans.
Dust mites and their by-products are one of the components of dust that often cause allergic reactions.
Many people believe that those who are allergic to cats and dogs react to the fur they shed, but that is not actually the case. In fact, pet saliva and skin flakes (dander) are the most common animal allergens. Furthermore, particles of pet dander remain on surfaces and in the air for significant periods of time and can cause reactions even when the animal is not present.
How air purifiers remove dust
All of these particles float around in the air before settling on surfaces as dust. Air purifiers with filters trap the vast majority of the particles in the air before they have a chance to settle. These types of residential air purifiers draw the air in and pass it through one or more filters, trapping dust and other pollutants. Then the filtered air is released back into the house.
HEPA filters are considered to be the most effective type of mechanical filter for air purifiers. According to the EPA, HEPA filters can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and other airborne particles 0.3 microns in size. Particles of that size are the hardest to trap and the easiest to breathe into the lungs, meaning that HEPA filters can trap particles of other sizes with even greater efficiency.
People who have air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters in their homes will notice that less dust settles on surfaces, and those with allergies and asthma will find that they breathe easier as they are exposed to fewer allergens.
Note that due to their high efficiency, HEPA filters tend to accumulate lots of dust quickly and therefore need to be replaced regularly in order to maintain optimal efficiency.
Trust Sanuvox to bust your dust
Dust is extremely bothersome to have in the house, particularly if you suffer from allergies or asthma. While cleaning can remove most of the dust from surfaces, it cannot eliminate the particles circulating in the air. Cleaning can temporarily increase the amount of particles in the air, as it disturbs the dust that has settled on surfaces.
If you want to breathe clean air, air purifiers are the way to go. HEPA filters trap airborne dust particles, and air purifiers with UV technology destroy mold spores, viruses and bacteria that are also found in the air and can pose significant health risks.
Contact Sanuvox today for first-rate air purification solutions!