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Our house is very dusty, its unbelivable some times. We have a gas fired forced air heating system with an a coil added on some time in the past. I put an electronic filter in and didn't really see a difference. What if anything can I do?



  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,397

    Is the dust in the form of powder or "dust mice", balls of collecting strands? As you probably know, most dust is human dander or pet dander. No animals, it's you.  Pay attention too if there is a seasonal element, spring and fall pollen for example.

    If your home is leaky, it could be exchanged from outside, if you are near a construction zone, cement plant, industrial area.

    How long from a clean start, a whole-house cleaning, does the house become caked up?

    Gather samples of the dust and take them to your local health department or county extension for analysis and at least find the root source.

    As far as filtration, that is a constant battle. I avoid HEPA filters because, to be effective, the air throughput is huge compared to what a home system would do. It is a marketing gimmick IMHO when touted for homes.

     A decent MERV-8 pleated filter alone will take out over 70 percent of particles 3 microns or greater in size. Dual stage (say a MERV-8 pre-filter and a downstream MERV-14 after-filter) will remove at least 80 percent of particles 1 micron or less. However this will take more air pressure drop unless the filters are significantly over-sized, say double the area. But MERV-8 should be able to be accommodated in most residential air handlers.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198

    Sorry for the slow answer.  Dust you can see, like that stuff in the sunbeam when you shake out a blanket, is too heavy to ever reach a filter or electronic air cleaner.  It falls out of the air in a few seconds.  Electronic air cleaners remove smoke, very fine dust and other particles that stay suspended much longer.  Same for any good-quality (MERV 8) or higher filter.

    Brad is right about getting the stuff tested.  If you live near a major highway, quarry or gravel pit operation, construction site or open field, they all are dust sources on windy days.  Decaying insulation, hobby and craft activities, or ironically, excessive vacuum cleaning, also generate dust.  Central vacuums can minimize this problem, by exhausting outdoors. Most portable vacuum cleaners exhaust more dust than they pick up, especially if you use the "bargain basement" replacement bags.  Consider using the "allergy relief" or hepa bags that you can find in most of the stores that sell such things. If you use the ultrasonic type room humidifier, they are known to produce white dust.

    Sealing up windows, doors and attic stairs may help, and also may save some energy as well.  I apologize for the slow response to this question.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,142
    Vacuum system

    Hello:  You might want to consider a central vacuum system that has an exhaust which can be ducted outdoors.  That way, any dust that isn't collected is put back outside.  It beats just stirring it up with the standard push vac.  I built one with a shop vac and sewer pipe along with normal central vac hose and wall inlets.  This kept cost down and performance up.

    Yours,  Larry
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