February 15, 2019
Spring cleaning is here. And that means it’s time to start dusting those neglected areas of the home.
But in the excitement for a clean, fresh home, you may be doubling your dusting time.
How? Many homeowners make the mistake of dusting first and then vacuuming their home.
Here’s why that’s a bad idea and what you should do instead.
Your vacuum cleaners kick up dust when using its agitator (the cylindrical brush that sweeps the carpet) or blowing exhaust steam.
So, if you dust first and vacuum second, you’ll end up having to dust again.
Work smarter, not harder.
This keeps the furnace’s blower on even when your system isn’t heating or cooling the air. The blower will suck in air through the return vents, past the air filter, and back out through the supply vents. In the process, airborne particulates like dust will get trapped in the filter.
Start out by dusting shelves, door frames, fan blades, and other items that are high off the ground. This way, if any dust falls, it won’t be falling on any freshly cleaned spaces.
Here’s a trick for cleaning ceiling fan blades — use an old pillowcase to surround the fan blade and slide the dust-off right into the pillowcase. Repeat for each blade and you’ll magically have all the dust collected in a bag.
Remember, you want to collect the dust, not simply brush it around. Instead of feather dusters, use microfiber cloths or electrostatic dusters. You can also use a regular damp cloth. Otherwise, the dust simply flies back into the air.
Luckily, since the HVAC fan is on, a lot of that airborne dust will get sucked into the air filter.
The dust you kick up may be pulled in through the supply vents and get caught in the filter. So you’re basically cleaning the air while vacuuming your floors.
Now you can start vacuuming. Go over everything multiple times and use the proper attachments for things like furniture, steps, and windowsills.
This is when you should actually start dusting — after you have dusted the high spots and vacuumed. The HVAC fan should still be running. Keep the furnace fan on for about 10-15 minutes after you finish dusting.
Don’t forget to flip the thermostat back to “COOL” or “HEAT.” The blower isn’t meant to be used constantly and can run up your energy bill if left on.
If you have a home that is always dusty no matter how much you clean, you may have dirty, damaged, or leaky air ducts. Air duct leaks in your attic or crawl space could be sucking in dust and blowing it throughout your supply vents. Dirty ducts can distribute mold spores, dust, pest remains, and other particulates throughout the home.
Basically, you’ll be blowing contaminants into your living spaces every time your air conditioner or furnace turns on. While duct sealing is something that you may be able accomplish on your own, duct cleaning is something you want to hire a professional for.
Learn tips for hiring professional duct cleaning.
Looking for information about indoor air quality solutions, such as air scrubbers, electrostatic air filters, duct cleaning and duct sealing? Ask a Champion!
Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time home service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.