Is Your Home Dusty Because of Your Air Conditioner?

If you find yourself cleaning your home regularly, but you’re still seeing excess dust on your table, countertops, bookshelves, TV stand, etc., then the problem may not lie in how well or how often you’re cleaning your home. Instead, the issue may be with the cleanliness of your ductwork and air filter.

Many homeowners may not realize that dirty, dusty air ducts and an air filter that isn’t routinely changed could lead to some seriously dusty surfaces. You may have noticed that regardless of how often you find yourself cleaning your home to keep it neat and tidy, the dirt and dust seems to return almost immediately. Fortunately, the problem can easily be solved.

How do I clean dirty, dusty air ducts?

When was the last time you scheduled air duct cleaning in your home? If it’s been longer than a year or two, then it’s time to make an appointment with a duct cleaning service. When you allow dirt, dust, pet dander, mold spores, and other contaminants to lay dormant in your ductwork, your heating and cooling systems must work harder to push air through the clogged spaces. This doesn’t just cause extra strain and premature wear and tear on your heating and cooling systems, but it also pushes dirty air into your living spaces as contaminants are picked up by the moving air.

The dirty, dusty air lands on surfaces and can also lead to poor indoor air quality for your family. If you have children, elderly individuals, or family members with compromised immune systems and/or respiratory problems, this dirty air could lead to serious health issues.

Does my ductwork have a leak?

Leaky ducts pull in air from your crawl space/basement, and attic. These areas aren’t necessarily known for being very clean spaces. So, when your ductwork isn’t properly sealed, contaminated air can easily be pulled into your air ducts, then pushed out through the vents when your heating and cooling systems are running.

Often, a homeowner can visually detect holes or openings in their ductwork. However, do not try to use duct tape to try and seal the spaces as it will eventually fall off. If you notice leaks, contact a heating and cooling professional for expert repair services.

How often should I change my air filter?

Check your system’s owner’s manual to determine how often to replace the filter. Many experts will recommend that you change them once a month during heavy use, or if you have pets in your home. You should always use the proper filter, as well. A cheap filter will allow dirt, dust, and debris to pass through, while a super thick and “efficient” filter may actually restrict air flow and cause your heating and cooling system to work harder than necessary to push air through. The recommended filter type should also be listed in your owner’s manual.

What other problems could be causing a dusty home?

Believe it or not, vacuuming your home could make it dustier. Using a vacuum cleaner without a HEPA-rated filter could cause dust and dirt particles to be kicked up from the carpet and be released into the air.

Also, check your home’s registers to see if they’re clean. This is an often-overlooked spot in the home when it comes to daily and weekly cleaning. If the registers are dirty and dusty, this debris will be blown into your living space whenever your heater or air conditioner are running.