In the popular television series Downton Abbey, the memorable opening scene of each episode shows a maid dusting the castle chandeliers with a feather duster.
The scene underscores the fact that whether it’s a humble home in the city or a grand castle in the countryside, they both share a similar situation – they’re both exposed to this fine, tiny substance. powder called dust.
Did you know that an average household collects about 40 pounds of dust every year? And yet, dust is a topic rarely discussed in the design and construction industry. Some designers don’t see dust in homes as a major problem until the homeowner complains or struggles with the workload of keeping their home clean, not to mention the effect on their health and wellbeing. wallet.
Dust collectors in houses
Dust in homes is an important consideration for designers. It is not enough to adopt a particular design style for aesthetic considerations only. Equally important is how dust is collected and disposed of in homes.
Some architectural and interior features of houses where dust collects are open shelves and cupboards, light coves, wall niches, the top of cupboards and kitchen doors, windows with screens, wide sills of window, baseboards, moldings and hard-to-reach edges in the shower.
Other dust collectors are ceiling fans, hanging lamps or chandeliers, picture frames, art objects on the walls and even simple walls, whether concrete or plasterboard. Louvered doors, Venetian blinds, and intricately patterned paneled doors and windows are also the best dust collectors.
Other often overlooked areas are tops of air conditioners, tops of refrigerators, under furniture, electronic screens, and plants, both fake and real.
Do you know the best place people forget to dust? The answer: it’s the ceiling.
What is dust?
Dust is a mixture of unpleasant and disgusting things, which includes dead skin and hair cells from humans, the carcasses and waste products of microscopic creatures such as dust mites, and worn-out clothing and furniture.
According to researchers at the University of Arizona, most dust comes from outside and travels through the air, rather than through people’s shoes. They tested and validated their research using data collected by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The most common sources outdoors are soil, sand and rock from natural erosion, including pollen and pollution.
How dust affects our health
Inhalation of dust may cause eye irritation, sneezing, coughing, hay fever or asthma attacks. If carried for many years, inhalation of dust at high concentrations can reduce long-term lung function and contribute to conditions such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Smokers and people with heart disease could be easy victims.
Those most likely to develop health problems from exposure to high levels of dust are babies and young children, people aged 65 and over, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
Fighting dust in homes
Dust cannot be avoided because all solids eventually decompose. However, indoor dust can be minimized through a variety of techniques. Regular and thorough dusting is a major step in maintaining healthy air quality in your home. For starters, designers can simplify details to minimize hard-to-reach nooks and crannies and see which ones can become dust magnets.
Strategies for reducing dust in homes
Health experts strongly recommend using dust and personal protective equipment before beginning any major cleaning process, whether done at home or at work.
Hardwood or tile floors are preferable to carpets which can never be completely clean even with a deep vacuum.
Frequently wash sheets, blankets, duvet covers, pillows and sofas where dead skin accumulates. If possible, place pillows and mattresses inside zippered dust covers that trap dust
Clean floors by mopping or vacuuming with a dust filter. Sweeping tends to spread dust without getting rid of it.
Clean or replace the air conditioning system air filter regularly. This is normally located on the back of the front panel. Dirty coils and filters make the air conditioner work harder and use more energy. If you have pets or allergies, clean your filters more frequently. Cleaning your air conditioner helps keep it in good working order.
Use doormats outside and inside your front door to reduce dust brought into the house. Our Asian neighbors take off their shoes when entering the house.
Roller blinds, which can be wiped off easily, are preferable to Venetian blinds, which accumulate dust easily and are very difficult to clean.
To prevent unwanted dust accumulation, unconditioned and unused rooms like attics and basements should be properly sealed.
Seal all registers and vents with a thick plastic cover held down with strong tape over your vents, to prevent particles from being trapped in your system. This should be done before you remodel your home.
Other Dust Control Measures
To reduce harsh urban development pervasive in many cities, Singapore, the Garden City, provides linear promenades, green lungs and water features to promote climate moderation and cleaner air.
In addition, extensive tree plantations and living green surfaces throughout the urban area create a pleasant and cool atmosphere, which aid in the dissipation of pollutants and heat and reduce dust.
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