We spend a lot of time indoors during winter. Cold weather forces us to close the windows, shut the doors, and hibernate for a few months until spring.
Winter might seem inconvenient but isn’t all that bad. The season gives us snow, provides us with the biggest holidays of the year, and it’s the perfect excuse to spend cold nights by the fire with hot chocolate.
If you’re in charge of cleaning your home, you might notice an increase of dust in the winter. Why is that so?
Well, most people think that dust comes from outside (it’s partly true). The majority of dust in our home is a product of our bodies in the form of dead skin flakes.
We usually don’t see dead skin falls falling off our body, however, it happens constantly and since we’re cooped up indoors during winter it’s not uncommon to see more dust around the house.
As someone who’s allergic to dust, I’ll share my top 9 strategies for dusting during winter. Implement a few tips and watch the amount of dust decrease. Good luck!
Dusting Strategies For Winter (Cleaning Tips)
Start With A High-MERV HVAC Filter
I assume you’ll be using your heater a lot in the winter. Forced air stirs up dust and circulates it through the air.
We all use HVAC filters but few people use quality filters. And it’s common to be lazy about changing them (I know I’ve forgotten to change them).
If you use a weak filter (lowest price option), it won’t do a good job of catching dust. Instead, the weak filter will allow dust to blow through your home and it could make you feel ill if you’re sensitive to dust or have allergies.
Because we use the HVAC so much in the winter, my best tip for reducing dust is to use a high-MERV filter. You won’t find high-MERV filters in the local hardware store. Instead, you’ll need to look online (check out my ranking of HVAC filters).
This simple step should reduce the amount of dust in your home!
Keep The HVAC Vent On While Dusting
Once you’re using a high-quality HVAC filter, you can use it to help you clean. While dusting the house, there will be dust that is stirred into the air.
Turn on the vent while you’re cleaning. The HVAC unit will pull air through the filter and recirculate clean air throughout the house.
Always Dust From Top To Bottom
As you dust, keep in mind that dust will go into the air and eventually settle on the ground.
I always begin with the blades of the fan, then dust shelves, couches and tables. The last thing I dust/clean is the floor.
If you begin with the floor, it might be dusty by the time you clean the blades of the fan!
Work smarter, not harder!
If you have allergies, you’ve probably figured out that sweeping is a big no-no. Sweeping may seem like a good way to clean your home, however, a broom causes microscopic dust to become airborne, where it can remain for hours before settling.
If you have tile, linoleum, or hardwood flooring, opt for a mop or Swiffer. I prefer Swiffer because it’s easy to maneuver, slides over most hard flooring, and captures a lot of dust.
Give Your Dog A Haircut
Pets are a beloved part of the American family so they spend just as much time indoors as people do. If you have a dog that lives indoors, consider trimming your dog’s hair.
Don’t worry, your dog’s long fur coat isn’t “natural” (humans have bred dogs to have long hair). Your pup will probably appreciate a trim.
If you’re considering getting a dog and plan to keep it indoors, look for a shorthaired breed that will help reduce the amount of dander in the home.
Reduce The Presence Of Rugs and Carpets
Rugs and carpets act as traps for dust. Carpets are notoriously difficult to rid of dust and can cause problems for people with allergies and asthma.
If you have sensitivities to dust it’s best to remove your carpets and go with hard flooring.
Rugs can be taken outside to shake once a week during winter
Consider Leather or Synthetic Couches Instead Of Fabrics
Fabric couches act much like carpets. They catch and hold onto dust. While you can remove cushion covers and wash them, it’s much easier to use a couch covered in leather or synthetic material.
Leather couches are simple to clean with a damp towel.
Cover Pillow and Mattresses With Allergy and Dust Proof Covers
Have you ever jumped on your bed and seen dust explode into the air?
We spend 1/3 of our lives in bed sleeping so it makes sense that we shed a lot of skin there. Shed skin, as well as other dust particles like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites can make their way into our pillows and mattresses where they can cause reparatory issues while we sleep.
Dust-proof covers (check out my favorite options) will protect your skin by trapping existing dust inside pillows and mattresses while preventing additional dust from getting into them.
Use HEPA Filters (Air Purifiers and Vacuums)
HEPA is an acronym for high-efficiency particulate arrestance. HEPA filters capture the smallest particulates during cleaning and are reliable for cleaning the air (air purifiers) and carpets (vacuuming).
Standard vacuums will do a good job with hair, pieces of food, and dirt, but will only blow around allergens like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. If you want to get rid of dust in the home, look for an air purifier or vac with a HEPA filter!
I Bet You’ll Notice Less Dust
These winter dust strategies should help you reduce dust around the house. I recommend adopting a few of the tips, however, if you just make one change the HVAC filter and pillow/mattress covers are at the top of my list.
Winter keeps us indoors but it doesn’t mean we have to put up with a dusty home. Keep your house dust-free and breathe easier!
I’ve lived with allergies most of my life. After being diagnosed with allergies I began reading and researching. I’ve worked with a number of allergists and now write as a way to share my experience with others in the same situation. In my spare time, you can find me hanging with family near the beach.