Do you ever just look at that one bookshelf or table in your house that never really gets used and cringe at the sight of the thinly layered dust on its surface? Although it’s easy to wipe it away with a wet wipe or paper towel when it’s on a surface, the dust that hangs in the air and settles in places that you can’t see is more difficult to clean. It’s inevitable to avoid the floating dust motes in your home and so if you’re someone that is sensitive to that dust, it could be really annoying to deal with on a regular basis, especially in your own home. The home product that can really help you mitigate this issue is an air purifier, but do air purifiers reduce dust? Before we explain how this works we will have to touch base on a few things.
Why Should You Care About Dust in The Air
Unlike soil and other forms of filth, dust is composed of a few materials and can come from a variety of sources. No matter where it originates, dust is able to irritate your throat, eyes, nose and can be especially irritating if you have asthma, allergies, or any other respiratory illness. If you are a person who suffers from allergies and you find that they’ve become worse over time, then it is probably because of a dust allergy. What makes the floating dust particles in your air more worrisome is that when they are small enough, you can breathe them in, which can be the cause of some health issues.
What Is Dust?
The most popular thought when we think about what dust is made out of is that they are mostly just dead skin cells or dirt. But in reality, dust is a complex mixture that is oftentimes made out of unexpected materials, including particulates that are from the outside, soil that’s tracked inside of your home, and organic materials. Organic materials are those that come from animals and plants, which include food debris, pollen, mold, skin particles, dust mite allergens, insect body parts, and pet dander. Some other materials that make up dust include the fibers of your bedding and carpet as well.
Pet Dander and Dust
Those who are allergic to pets or other animals aren’t always allergic to pet hair but are sometimes allergic to the proteins such as skin flakes and saliva that originate from pets. This is what is considered to be pet dander, so if you’re one that has to be mindful of this kind of allergen, then be sure to keep an eye out for this cleaning feature of the air purifier you’re purchasing.
Dust and dust mites
Dust also contains the most common allergen of dust mite droppings. When you inhale dust that has these microscopic particles, it can cause an allergic reaction. It’s more of a reason to make sure that your space is clean since dust mites feed on the skin particles that are in dust as well. So it’s best to make sure that your home surfaces are clean as possible so that you can avoid this issue altogether.
Do Air Purifiers Remove Dust?
The short answer is yes, air purifiers do work to remove dust from your household. If you’re sure that your air purifier is equipped with a true HEPA filter, then the unit will capture dust that is floating in the air. If your air purifier has a probiotic air filter, then this will reduce dust by consuming any resources that dust mites use. But please note that there is one kind of air purifier that will not effectively remove dust, which is carbon filter units. Carbon-activated filters fulfill the purpose of capturing and removing odors and gases rather than particulates.
Most air purifiers have a mechanical filtration system that is used to capture any pollutants on the filters. The process involves the particles sticking onto the filter or being trapped within the fibers of the filter. HEPA filters are the best for this job because they capture 99.97% of particulates that are 0.3 micrometers in size, which is less than the width of a human hair. Other filters use a flat filter, which is either a filter in your HVAC system or a furnace filter, that traps the dust that’s in the air. Sometimes these kinds of filters are electrostatically charged so that it has a greater chance of catching and trapping particles.
Since you are more familiar with what dust can really be made out of and whether air purifiers are good enough to remove or reduce dust, now it’s a matter of purchasing and finding the right air purifier for you. In the market right now, the best air purifiers under $200 work very well to reduce dust from your home.
But in the meantime, you can do things such as dust and clean your household so that you’re more careful of spreading dust into the air. It’s also recommended that you replace your HVAC filters, wipe pets down, and change your clothes before entering your home as well. Doing these things prior to and when you have your air purifier will enhance your indoor air quality substantially, so that you can breathe without the irritability of floating dust particles.
Written by Julia Batista