Air Quality

Published on October 24th, 2013 | by Henri


House dust causes family arguments

Q.    Hope you can settle a disagreement between my husband and me. Our home is 21 years old. We live directly across the street from the bay. This house is the dustiest house we have ever, ever lived in. I can dust one day, and the very next, it looks like I haven’t dusted in a month. I see advertisements to have your duct work cleaned, but my husband insists it has nothing to do with any duct work and the dust is entirely due to the fact that we live on the beach.

I have come to hate this house. I see particles floating in the air despite vacuuming, dusting, cleaning on a daily basis. I have grown weary and do not want to spend every waking hour cleaning. I do not find this normal; he is constantly complaining about the dust and pet dander (one dog could not possibly create such dust, right?). I just do not know what to do.

Could it be the AC ducts or the heating system? I believe we have hot water radiant heating; another factor I believe could be the culprit. We have most of the baseboard heating  blocked off by heavy furniture and TV surround system so I am unable to vacuum those areas by my lonesome. We had to have extensive repairs on our mega screen TV because — and this is what the TV repair man stated: “It needs to breathe and be vacuumed every 3 months” — something I cannot do.

I believe if we rearranged some of these rooms and I had access to baseboards so I could vacuum, it would help tremendously. The great room in particular where the big TV is. My husband is unwilling to budge on rearranging furniture and thinks I should vacuum 2 to 3 times a day. I am getting too old to vacuum that many times a day. Hope you can help ME (us).

A.    Not being Dr. Phil, I can only respond to the dust problem. It sounds to me as if you have a very drafty house with poor windows.

Since you have baseboard heaters, you do not have radiant heat as radiant is used to describe heating systems in floors or ceilings; you have convection heating. The air-conditioning ducts may need to be cleaned yearly; it might help — it’s worth a try. If your air-conditioning system does not have an electronic air filter, you may want to have one installed; they pick up a lot of microscopic particles.

Other choices are (and I am sure you have thought about them) to move to a less windy and cleaner area; hire a cleaning service to come and move the furniture and do a thorough job once a month, or more often if necessary, to keep peace, or simply get used to having a house less clean that you would like it to be.

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