Before trying to prevent dust from entering your house, let’s define what dust is and what it’s made of. Dust is made of various particles from sources in the surrounding environment. Skin cells, pet hair and dander, dirt, fabric fibers, and insect fragments are all common particles found in dust. Paloma Beamer from the University of Arizona estimates that one-third of dust particles come from indoors, while two-thirds come from outdoors. It is important to know where dust is coming from, so we know how to stop it.
Let’s look at some common outdoor dust particles, and how to prevent them from entering your home.
The main pathway that dirt follows into your home is through the door. Dirt clings onto shoes and gets brushed off inside as they are being taken off. One way to prevent dirt from entering your house is by having a place in the garage, or on an area with a hard floor where shoes are taken off. If the shoes don’t come inside, or only stay in one spot with a hard floor, they won’t transport dirt to the rest of the house. Another way to help cut down on dirt coming in through the door is to put heavy duty mats on the inside and outside of your doorways. This significantly decreases the amount of dirt that gets brought in on your shoes
Pets carry a lot of different particles in their fur, and most pets shed their hair often. There are several ways to decrease the amount of dust and dander your pet brings inside the house. The first tip is to groom your pet outside often, this will keep most of their shedding fur from dropping inside the house. The second tip is to wipe their feet off before letting them back inside, especially if the ground is wet and your pet has a large amount of fur. This will keep them from spreading any dirt they picked up to the rest of the house.
Almost all airborne particles from outside come through open doors or windows, so the logical solution is to keep your doors and windows shut. During the spring months when pollen levels are at their highest is the best time to keep yourself protected from outside air. Where we are located, in Houston, the pollen count the past week put us in the no. 1 spot in the country for the highest pollen levels with 2,024 grains of pollen per cubic meter. This level of pollen leaves all cars a shade of yellow, pollen flowers piled up on curbs, and the majority of the population with severe allergies. The most effective ways to prevent pollen and airborne particles from entering your home is to keep doors and windows closed as much as possible, and change your air filters more often.