It’s a task that repeats every time you need to clean your house – dusting. This fine layer seems to settle over everyday items in record time leading to not only messy appearances, but allergies and breathing issues if left too long. Although dust is a common annoyance, have you ever stopped and wondered what causes dust in the first place, and the best ways to combat it?

A few factors go into the creation of dust, ranging from natural elements to everyday activities. Understanding what causes dust is the first step towards creating a healthier and cleaner home that you can breathe easier in.

What is Dust and What Causes Dust to Exist?

what causes dust

Imagine a sunbeam shining through a window – if you see tiny particles floating in the air when the sunlight hits them, you’re actually seeing dust particles. They are so small that they can stay suspended in the air or settle on surfaces like tables and shelves. But what actually are these particles and what causes them?  

Dust is made up of tiny, fine particles ranging from 1 to 100 micrometers in size. These particles  are made up of many different substances, including fibers, skin cells, dirt, and more. Dust plays an important role in the environment to help spread essential nutrients, seeds, and even regulate the climate to create healthier ecosystems.

Common sources that create dust include:

  • Soil and dirt
  • Pollen and other plant particles
  • Skin cells and hair
  • Textiles and fibers
  • Insects
  • Industrial pollution
  • Pet dander and feathers
  • Mold
  • Burning and combustion byproducts
  • Weather conditions

The dust in your home, however, is less helpful to your own ecosystem. Dust buildup not only detracts from the cleanliness and aesthetics of your home but can also harbor allergens and contribute to poor indoor air quality. As a result, regular dusting and cleaning are crucial not only for maintaining a tidy home but also for promoting a healthier living environment for you and your family.

What Causes Dust in a House?

Having some dust in a home is expected. While it’s generally part of a healthy environment, there are times when dust can overwhelm a  house. Too much dust can cause health issues and become a burdensome task to keep at bay.

What causes dust in one home might not be an issue in the next, so it’s important to discern what the main culprits are in your house. Some common contributors to look out for are below. 

  • Poor ventilation – Poor ventilation can lead to stagnant air, allowing dust to settle on surfaces.
  • Pets – Pet dander, hair, and skin particles contribute to the dust in your house, just as your own skin particles and hair can add to dust.
  • Old HVAC systems – Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that are outdated or not properly maintained can circulate dust particles throughout the house.
  • Open windows and doors – While natural ventilation is essential, keeping windows and doors open in dusty environments can allow outdoor dust to enter the house.
  • Construction or renovations on the home – Dust is often generated during construction or renovation projects.
  • Carpets and upholstery – Carpets and upholstered furniture, like your old office chair, can trap and hold dust particles.
  • Humidity levels – Dust particles can become airborne more easily in dry conditions. Maintaining optimal indoor humidity levels can help control dust.
  • Outdoor environment – The external environment, such as living near a construction site, unpaved roads, or areas with high pollen levels, can contribute to a dusty indoor environment.

Addressing these factors through regular cleaning, proper maintenance, and lifestyle adjustments can significantly reduce dust levels in your home.

The Health Impacts of an Extremely Dusty House

Health Impacts of Dust scaled

Living in an extremely dusty house can have a negative impact on health. Dust often contains particles that may be harmful when inhaled or come into contact with the skin. Over time, these particles can cause a number of potential health issues.

Respiratory issues

Inhaling dust particles can irritate the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath. People with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma or allergies may experience worsened symptoms.


Dust can contain allergens, such as pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. Prolonged exposure to these allergens in a dusty environment may trigger allergies or make them worse, causing symptoms like itching, watery eyes, and skin rashes

Skin irritation

Dust may contain particles that, when they come into contact with the skin, can cause irritation and dryness. This can be especially problematic for individuals with sensitive skin or certain skin conditions.

Mental health impact

Living in an excessively dusty and unclean environment can also have psychological effects, contributing to stress, anxiety, or a feeling of discomfort.

Worsening of existing health conditions

Individuals with pre-existing health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular problems, or weakened immune systems, may experience worsened symptoms when exposed to high levels of dust.

To reduce these health risks it’s important to address the sources of dust and implement proper cleaning and maintenance practices. Regular cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming can help reduce dust levels in the home. Using air purifiers with HEPA filters can also be beneficial in trapping airborne particles. Improving ventilation and minimizing indoor sources of dust, such as pet dander and mold, can also contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

Effective Dust Prevention Methods

what causes dust

Removing dust from your home will take a little extra effort, but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. The most important aspect is removing the sources of what causes dust in the first place, such as having too many carpets or making sure you have proper ventilation.

There are many prevention methods that only take a few minutes to set up to see effective results, such as an air purifier or regularly grooming your pets. 

Regular cleaning

Keeping your home clean is essential for dust prevention. Make it a habit to dust surfaces regularly, including the forgotten baseboards, using damp cloths or microfiber dusting tools. If your home is very dusty, make sure to wipe down and clean your walls and ceilings, especially popcorn ceilings that will hold dust.

Vacuum carpets, rugs, and upholstery frequently, ensuring to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to effectively capture fine dust particles. Washing bedding, curtains, and other fabrics on a regular basis can also help reduce the presence of dust mites and allergens in your home environment.

Filter maintenance

Proper maintenance of HVAC filters is crucial for efficient dust filtration. Regularly clean or replace your HVAC filters according to manufacturer recommendations to ensure optimal performance. By doing so, you’ll help prevent dust particles from circulating throughout your home and maintain better air quality.

Air purifiers

Investing in air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can be highly effective in improving indoor air quality. These devices work by trapping airborne particles, including dust, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens. Trapping these particles helps reduce dust levels and alleviate respiratory symptoms for allergy sufferers.

Proper ventilation

Good ventilation is essential for reducing indoor dust levels. Ensure proper airflow by opening windows and doors regularly to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home. You can also use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove moisture and airborne particles, helping to prevent dust buildup and maintain a cleaner living environment.

Humidity control

Maintaining optimal indoor humidity levels is important for controlling dust mites and mold growth. Aim for indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% to inhibit the spread of these allergens. Using dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as basements or bathrooms, can help regulate humidity levels and minimize the accumulation of dust and mold.


Clutter provides more surfaces for dust to settle on, making regular cleaning more challenging. Reduce clutter by removing unnecessary items and keeping surfaces clear. By minimizing clutter, you’ll not only make cleaning more efficient but also reduce the potential for dust buildup in your home.

The Best Solution: Professional Cleaning Services to Reduce Dust in Your House

what causes dust

When it comes to reducing dust in your house effectively, one of the best solutions is to opt for Brennan & Co cleaning services. We have the expertise, tools, and techniques to thoroughly clean your home, targeting areas that are often overlooked during regular cleaning routines. Our cleaners use specialized equipment, such as high-powered vacuums with HEPA filters and advanced cleaning solutions, to efficiently remove dust and allergens from various surfaces.

Brennan & Co cleaning services typically include deep cleaning of carpets, upholstery, and drapes to eliminate any accumulated dust and debris. We pay attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as baseboards, ceiling fans, and air vents, where dust tends to accumulate. By investing in professional cleaning services on a periodic basis, you can significantly reduce dust levels in your house and create a cleaner and healthier living environment for you and your family.