Don’t get me wrong, dust is normal in all homes and nothing can eliminate it. However, in some homes dust seems to reappear too soon—even after just a few days. This makes house cleaning an even more tedious task. If this happens in your home, it might not be your fault! Simple testing of your home can help you track down the culprits that are creating dust in your home and leave your family breathing easier.
What type of testing?
A home performance assessment uses specialized diagnostic equipment to identify areas in your home that are allowing dusty air to be drawn into your living spaces. It is even possible this can cause health and safety concerns. Items that are addressed by a home performance assessment include:
- Testing for contaminated air entering your home. Building scientists have discovered that over half of the incoming air becomes polluted by first passing through the attached garage, crawlspace, attic or basement. Those areas are not known for having the cleanest air in your home!
- Examining the home sealing to keep the outside from coming inside.
- Checking for air coming through unsealed, leaky electrical fixtures, including recessed can lights.
- Identifying and reducing any pressure imbalances in the home. Closing doors that have no return air grilles or using large attic exhaust fans can wreak havoc with the performance of your home.
- Inspecting ductwork to make sure the hot/cold air from your HVAC system gets to where it should and that dirt is not being drawn into leaky ductwork.
- Determining if a central high efficiency air filter should be installed.
But identifying the problems is just step one. The second step is to make the improvements to the health, safety, cleanliness and energy efficiency of your home. Some of these are do-it-yourself projects. Caulk, foam sealant and weather-stripping can go a long way toward improving your home’s air infiltration once the testing shows you where they are needed. Some will require a trusted contractor, who can also make sure that not only does the problem get fixed, but you also get any rebates that may be available from your utility company.
Don’t blame yourself (or your family!) if you house always seems dusty. Identifying and removing the culprits that are bringing that dust into your home can keep your home looking good, energy efficient and healthier.