Dust in a home is just plain annoying.
When a home is dusty, it looks as though it is not clean.
However, some people dust every day and still can’t keep their homes dust-free.
If this sounds like you, you are not alone.
In fact, many people in older houses find that keeping dust to a minimum is quite difficult.
There are specific reasons some older homes get very dusty.
Let’s take a look at these reasons and give you some solutions for keeping the dust to a minimum.
Why Are Old Houses Dusty? (10 Reasons)
1. Cheap HVAC Filters
If your older home has an HVAC system, chances are part of the problem is coming from here.
With an HVAC system, we have to look at the ductwork and the filters to determine where the dust is getting into the home and leaving the mess.
One major reason is that your HVAC filters could be cheap.
When you go to the store to purchase HVAC filters, you must keep in mind the size of the filter and the type and grade.
Not all HVAC filters are created equal.
You will see that the patterns and fibers on some of these filters are a bit more involved than others.
This is because the filters are made for various price ranges.
Some companies put out very affordable filters, but the pattern and the material on the filter are not guaranteed to be quite as effective.
Other companies will put out premium filters that are guaranteed to trap dust and keep the air in your home much cleaner.
Many people doubt the effectiveness of these premium HVAC filters, and they end up purchasing the cheaper ones.
This is understandable considering the price difference, but if you have a real issue with dust in your home, it is important to get something capable of controlling the dust.
2. Dirty HVAC Filters
As we mentioned, purchasing an HVAC filter that is not of high quality will make it hard to keep the dust population down.
However, in addition to quality, people need to pay attention to the cleaning of the HVAC filters.
You must clean your HVAC filters quite often.
There are some models that can be taken out, vacuumed, and replaced, while other times, the entire filter needs to be thrown away and replaced.
One thing you should remember is that, if you do any kind of construction in your home or your neighbor is doing construction, you should clean it more frequently.
The frequent cleaning of the HVAC filters is going to help you keep the dust in your home to a minimum.
We recommend that you look at replacing your filter at least once every few months.
Many people would say to replace them once per month.
Although this is certainly an option, it is going to be quite costly.
If you find that, for some reason, your older home gets your AC filters dirty within a few weeks, choose a filter that can be cleaned.
Although you will pay more upfront, in the long run, you will save quite a bit of money.
It is also worth looking into purchasing filters in bulk.
Most homes may only have a few filters that need to be replaced, but purchasing the larger package is going to help save a bit of money.
3. Don’t Have Proper Vacuum
Although this reason could apply to either a new or an old home, it is an important one to consider.
If you don’t have the right vacuum, you could be spreading more dust around your home.
When you clean your house and do your vacuuming, you assume that the vacuum sucks all of the dirt and debris into the canister.
This is only partially correct.
There are some types of vacuums that end up pushing dirt and dust into the air as well.
Although the particles that get thrown into the air are quite small, they will land on objects and sit there as dust.
Having the proper vacuum usually means purchasing something with a HEPA filter.
The HEPA filter will take even the smallest particles and keep them trapped inside your vacuum.
The particles will not be able to escape and head back out into the room to create more dust issues for you.
These HEPA filter vacuums are usually priced a bit higher than traditional vacuums, yet it makes a lot of sense to purchase one.
You may find that you have fewer dust issues, that you are breathing a bit better, and that your HVAC filter issues tend to be decreased as well.
Indeed, these benefits will be worth a few extra dollars that you will have to spend on a filter.
Some older homes have floors that are in bad condition.
Refurbishing and replacing these floors can be expensive.
One option people have is to put down a carpet or to do wall-to-wall carpeting in some rooms.
Although this may seem like the ideal solution for covering the floors, it is going to increase the amount of dust that you have in your home.
Carpets tend to hold onto and create dust in a house.
In fact, if you have carpeting, it is recommended that you vacuum it several times a week.
Whether it is kids playing on the carpets or pets taking a nap, a lot of dust settles into the fibers of the carpet.
When you vacuum this dust, it comes up, but as we mentioned, some vacuums are going to simply spread it around the house.
If you want to work on getting rid of dust completely, you will need hardwood and tile floors.
For those that are allergic to dust or have breathing troubles, the doctors will almost always recommend removing carpet.
The process makes it easier to clean the room, and therefore, the dust level will stay reduced as well.
Many older homes have curtains.
New modern homes tend to have a look that includes blinds or even windows that have a tint or internal blind.
However, this was not the case years ago when these older homes were built.
Older homes tend to look more rich and complete when they have curtains.
For larger windows and expansive openings, this can mean quite a few curtains.
The curtains will spread across space, and many of them will just touch the floor.
Curtains are notorious for collecting dust and dirt.
Most people will not wash their curtains unless they are doing some type of spring cleaning.
For the most part, curtains get lifted off the ground, and the vacuum goes under them.
This is simply not enough to truly eliminate the dust in the house.
If you notice that one room, in particular, has major dust issues, check to see if that room has curtains.
The additional curtains are probably the cause.
It may be time to invest in blinds or to let your windows go bare for a while.
Many of the newer design trends point to the fact that less is more.
Pets can be a man’s best friend.
They can also be a man’s worst nightmare when it comes to damage and cleaning of your home.
Pets have no control over their dander and their shedding, but it is everywhere.
You will find that the more pets you have, the more issues you will have with pet dander and dust throughout your home.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this except to keep up with your house cleaning and your pet cleaning.
It’s important that indoor pets have frequent baths and that they are kept brushed and cleaned.
This will help to keep the dust down, but it certainly will not eliminate it.
If you want to eliminate dust completely, your pets may need to stay outdoors.
Most people are not willing to do this and that is completely understandable.
Try to make sure that your pets don’t sit on the sofa and see if there is any way you can keep them out of rooms you don’t use as often.
This makes it much easier for you when it comes time to cleaning.
Purchasing a vacuum that can handle pets is also important.
These specific vacuums ensure that pet dander is trapped inside while you clean.
7. Old Window and Doors
Windows and doors are our home’s main defense against the great outdoors.
Without the proper windows and doors in place, anything and everything could make its way into the home.
It’s important to remember that a window created in 2020 will probably be different from a window created in 1975.
If your home is a bit older and you have older windows and doors, you will end up having more dust in your home.
The older windows and doors are going to let more dust and dirt into the home.
They don’t have the same ability to keep dust out that a modern window does.
This, of course, can be fixed, but it will require a large investment into the home.
If you are also finding that you have a difficult time regulating and maintaining the temperature inside your home, chances are the reason behind it is the older windows and doors.
You will have to decide which of these reasons makes it worth it for you to purchase new windows and doors.
Chances are you will find that, over time, the replacement starts to become justified with the money you will save on heating and air conditioning.
Try to replace the windows and doors in the areas of the home that are most frequented first.
You will notice this has a much larger impact on the reduction of dust in the home.
8. Dusting Properly
Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to dust?
Most people have no idea that the way they are dusting is causing the dust to simply spread around the home instead of actually getting cleaned up.
To control dust, it must be done with a wet rag.
Although these microfiber cleaning cloths are beneficial at times, they cannot completely control dust.
The cleaning cloths will pick up some of the dust, but most of it just gets spread around into the air.
When this happens, the air is going to fill with dust, and it will end up falling on the ground all around the general area.
The process of dusting can easily be improved if you put a bit of water on your rag.
Simply use a damp rag to dust and keep rinsing the rag while you dust.
Then you can take the microfiber cleaning cloth and come in to polish the area after it has been dusted.
This is going to help get the home looking cleaner and keep the overall dust to a minimum.
You may find that you spend a bit more time rinsing your rag, but you will spend less time overall doing your dusting each week as this will cut down on the dust in the home.
9. Duct Work Issues
The ductwork in the home helps to take the warm air out and bring the cool air in.
The HVAC system in any home would not function without an excellent ductwork system to work in conjunction with it.
The problem with the duct system is that it is mostly hidden in the attic of the home.
Therefore, if there are issues with the system, they become challenging to see.
In fact, you may have no idea that there is a gap or a hole in your ductwork system that is allowing in quite a bit of dust and debris.
The dust and debris will seem to get worse and worse, and nothing that you are doing has an impact on it.
This is where it makes sense to have an HVAC contractor come in and take a look at the system.
They can take a camera through the system and look for areas that may have a hole or a crack.
When those areas are found, they can simply be patched to allow less debris to come into your home.
As you can imagine, this is going to have a significant impact on the overall cleanliness of the home, not just the dust.
You will also find that your HVAC system will function much more efficiently with the fixed ductwork in place.
10. Weather Stripping Replacement
Last but certainly not least is the weather stripping that you have around your doors and windows.
We mentioned that, in old homes, the old windows and doors will let more dust in.
However, a major part of this reason is that the weather stripping is old as well.
The weatherstripping is used to keep weather and dust outside and keep the warmth or the cool air inside the home.
If you are not able to afford to replace windows and doors, you need to take a good look at the weather stripping that is in place around them.
The stripping can be a simple fix that you can work on over a weekend and notice almost immediate results.
The great thing about weatherstripping is that you will find it does a great job of helping you control the temperature in the home.
This is an update that you are going to find to be very valuable.
Most homeowners can replace weatherstripping in their home on their own and will not need to hire a professional for this project.
Hopefully, these reasons for old homes being dusty have helped to give you some potential ideas for fixing your home’s issues.
It is not hard to control dust if you are working to control it properly.
Follow our tips to keep the dust under control using a wet rag.
Also, take a good look at the vacuum you are using and make sure it is efficient in cleaning up the dust in your home.
Remember that many of the best filters, vacuums, and even dusting tools are going to have a higher upfront cost, but in the end, they will do a better job of controlling dust.
Dust in a home is a long-term issue that you will almost always be working against.
These tips are going to make an immediate impact and help you spend less time with a dust rag in your hand.