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Why Is My House So Dusty? A Cumulative Guide to a Cleaner Home

When your house is dusty, not only does it make your living area look quite unpleasant, excess dust can also make health problems like asthma and allergies much worse. No matter how much you seem to clean, it just keeps coming back. So, what can you do to minimize the amount of dust in your home? Don’t just sit around and wonder “why is my house is so dusty,” do something about it.

A dusty house is the result of either a lack of airflow or a contaminated flow of air. Dust is a collection of microparticles that become present in your home. These microparticles usually form from little pieces of skin, hair, carpet fibers, clothing and upholstery, bedding fragments, and various particles from outdoors. In fact, 60% of the dust in your home comes from outdoors.

The question is, how does dust manage to get into your home in the first place?

The 3 main reasons why your house gets so dusty

1. Outdoors

Dust is everywhere, and that includes outside of your living space. One of the ways dust can enter your home is when it’s brought in from outdoors. For example, when someone enters your home, whether it’s you, your children, or your pets, they’ll bring in dust. That’s a given.

To help minimize the amount of dust that enters, there are a few things you can do. First, leave your shoes outdoors or in the garage. This can also include coats, hats, and scarves. Second, if you have pets, wipe the bottom of their paws with a damp rag. Finally, running an air purifier near the entrance to your home is also a good idea.

2. Broken window panes

Another reason why your living space might be so dusty is because of a broken or cracked window pane. Dust and other things can easily get through these small openings. The best thing you can do is either replace the glass or seal the gaps.

Since replacing a window is quite expensive, sealing the cracks or the breaks is definitely a cheaper option. Stop by your local home improvement store and pick up a tube of caulk. Simply apply it and let it dry. By doing this, you’ll minimize your home’s dust count while also possibly saving on your monthly electricity bill.

3. Filters

A clogged furnace filter is another reason why your home might be dusty. Dust is going to enter your home no matter what. You can definitely minimize the amount that comes in, though, but it’s impossible to prevent any from coming in. That’s why running your HVAC system can decrease dust accumulation. That is, unless your filter is dirty or clogged. Experts suggest that homeowners change the filters in their furnaces anywhere from one to 3 months.


Without proper circulation, the dust that has entered your living space will begin to settle on the surfaces in your house. It’ll also get into the carpet. If your HVAC system is in good working condition and the filter is being replaced regularly, turn the fan on more than you already are. This will help reduce the accumulation of dust. Before you do, though, you’ll need to make sure all the registers are open.

Once you’ve done this, turn your thermostat’s fan onto the “ON” setting. This is different from the “AUTO” setting. The “ON” setting means your system will continue to run. The “AUTO” setting means that the system will run until the desired temperature is met.

Leaky ducts and registers

Leaky ducts are one of the main causes of dust accumulation in your home. Do you notice more dust in your living space after you run the heat or air conditioning? If you answered yes, then there’s a good chance there’s a leak someplace in your home’s ductwork. Before you call a professional, though, inspect your HVAC system yourself. You don’t have to be a specialist to do this.

Start by inspecting your home’s ductwork for tiny cracks or gaps. There are a few places where your ducts may be leaking. They include:

  • Small cracks, holes, and gaps around the fittings
  • Joints that are not sealed properly
  • Cracks between the joint sections
  • Attics and crawlspaces

If you don’t see any issues, you’ll then want to turn the thermostat to the “ON” setting. Once it’s running, check the registers to see if they’re delivering the right amount of airflow.

If the air flowing out of your resisters is a little weak, then you might have a leak. However, the problem could also be the blower motor.

Before inspecting the blower motor, make sure you cut the power to the HVAC system. Once the power is off, inspect the blower motor. The focus point here is the belt. Check the belt for tears, rips, or other damage. If the belt is damaged, then it will need to be replaced. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, then it’s best to call a professional.

Low-quality filters

Fiberglass filters are about the least effective at collecting dust. Over time, your AC evaporator coil will become filthy, and dust will be blown throughout your living area. To help reduce this, choose a filter that offers a higher MERV rating. For those who are unfamiliar with a MERV rating, the higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at catching smaller particles.

However, it’s important to note that if you decide to choose pleated filters, they can get real dirty real fast. This means you’ll have to change them on a regular basis. Your system can also overheat and sustain other damage if the filter becomes filthy and is not changed.

Minimize the dust in your home with an in-duct air purifier

For those not familiar with an in-duct air purifier, it’s an air-purifying machine that’s installed within the framework of your duct system.

These in-duct air purifiers help filter out an array of contaminants, like pet dander, dust mites, allergens, and dirt. When you install one of these devices, your home will be cleaner, and you’ll feel healthier. A quality duct system should be able to eliminate up to 95% of pathogens and have at least a 15 MERV rate.

Is your house so dusty with no HVAC system?

So, you’ve sealed your windows, left the shoes at the door, and your home doesn’t have an HVAC system, but you still have a dust problem in your home? What else can it be other than your air conditioning system?


The entrances of your home might also be letting dust in through small gaps around the edges. To help make your doors more air tight, there are a couple of things you can do. First, install a door sweep. These are fairly cheap and quite effective. This device is installed at the bottom of the door with a few screws. Another thing you can do is apply seal gaps and weather stripping on the edges of the door. By doing this, you’ll make the doors in your home much more air tight.

Upholstery, curtains, and carpet

The carpet in your home, along with the sofa and the curtains, are prime areas for dust accumulation. That’s why it’s a wise decision to clean these areas of your home regularly. Cleaning these properly includes:

  • Sweeping your carpet regularly and having it cleaned at least once a year
  • Sweeping your curtains and washing them annually
  • Taking your sofa cushions outdoors and knocking the dust out of them
  • Sweeping underneath your sofa

Many people think that vacuuming is the answer when, in fact, vacuuming actually might make things worse. So, what is the solution? You can either upgrade to flat floors like hardwood, laminate, or even granite. In addition to this, you can also invest in a vacuum cleaner complete with a HEPA-rated filter.


As mentioned above, pets can bring dust in with them from the outdoors. This isn’t the only way pets can contribute to the amount of dust in your home, though. Pets also shed both dead skin particles and fur, which will become embedded into your carpet over time. This is why sweeping your carpet on a regular basis is important. In addition to this, brushing your pet’s coat every week helps remove loose hair before it falls to the floor.

Use a microfiber cloth to minimize your dust accumulation

What is a microfiber cloth? This is a cloth that has a static charge build-up. This static charge collects dust at a much more efficient rate than a normal cloth. They also can pick up smaller particles of dust due to the millions of fibers embedded in them. Give these microfiber clothes a chance, and you’ll be glad you did.

Other preventive steps to eliminating dust

Check your air filter port to make sure it is air tight. An air filter port that is not sealed properly can potentially drain your system’s efficiency level by 20% to 50%.

Clean your home’s registers with a damp washcloth on a regular basis. If you have a vacuum with a long extension, you can even sweep the dust from out of your registers, too.

Head up to your home’s attic and look for ducts that are not attached. If you do see an area where your duct is not attached, you’ll need to equip yourself with tensioning tools, industrial-strength zip-ties, and a powerful sealant called “mastic.”

Is household dust harmful to your health?

Normal household exposure is unlikely to cause any issues. An excess of dust can cause sickness, allergy attacks, sinus infections, dermatitis, and other problems.

Household dust can also contain toxic chemicals and be dangerous for people who have asthma and individuals who have a compromised immune system. This is why reducing the amount of dust accumulation in your home is so important.

Also, dust mites are the most common indoor allergy triggers. Since they cannot survive under low humidity conditions, you should maintain a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent in your home to create an allergy-friendly environment.

Is my house dustier in the winter?

Your home can, in fact, become dustier during the winter months. Why? First, the air is a lot drier and much warmer. As a result, we tend to shed a lot more dry skin than we do during the warmer months. This is also true for pets. In addition to this, most people also spend more time indoors, too. This is why it’s good to run an air purifier more in the winter.

Why is my bedroom dustier than the other rooms in the house?

Bedrooms tend to be dustier than the other rooms in the house. This is because they’re typically not ventilated very well. Bedrooms also have a lot of blankets, curtains, and other fabrics that collect dust. Running a personal-sized air purifier is a good way to keep these areas of your home much more comfortable.

In conclusion

By taking advantage of these easy tips, you can drastically reduce the amount of dust accumulation in your home. You’ll not only make your home a cleaner place, you’ll also enjoy a healthier living environment while also making your home more efficient as well. That means lower monthly electricity bills. Sounds pretty good, right? So, don’t just sit around and wonder, “why is my house is so dusty,” take steps to reduce it.

Josh Hurd


Saturday 26th of August 2017

Dust and Taxes is here to stay, especially in dry places like CA that doesn't get much rain.

I have hardwood floors. Once a week, I use a water spray bottle and a rug to wipe the floors with my feet. It's the simplest solution I found.