How to Remove Dust from the Air


Gail asked: How do I clear the house of dust. We have had a dust storm and would like to know how to clear floating dust from the inside of the house. Breathing is rather difficult at the moment. It is still dusty outside, so we cannot open the windows or doors yet.

Dust in the air can aggravate air passages and lead to more problems. The best way to remove these dust particles is with an air purifier. There are a variety of air purifiers available at any store that sells small appliances and home items. Here are some features to look for when selecting the appropriate air purifier.

Air Filters


  • There are a variety of filters available. The HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters) are recommended for their ability to remove small particles from the air.
  • HEPA filters are also especially helpful for households with allergy problems.


  • You want to ensure that the purifier is able to capture as much dust from the air as possible.
  • Check the label carefully to determine the particles that it is able to remove from the air. For example, a HEPA filter can trap 99.99% of particles that are 0.3 microns and larger – which includes most dusts.
  • All certified models are marked with a performance number that ranges from 10 – 450. The higher the number, the better the performance.

Room Size

  • It is important to have the right sized air purifier for the size of the room it needs to clean. If the air purifier is too small, it won’t be able to move the air effectively enough to clean it.
  • Measure the size of the room before going to purchase your air purifier.
  • Check for the maximum coverage area and select one that is slightly larger than the room it is intended for. (This allows the fan to be effective on a lower setting and not use as much energy.)

Noise Level

  • The fans in some machines are loud and not pleasant to have running constantly. By selecting a purifier that is designed for a room slightly larger than the one it is used in allows it to run on a lower speed. In return, the fan will not be running on high and will be quieter.
  • Some fans come with a noise level rating. Use this to compare different units.
  • If there is no information available on the packaging, ask to plug one in, or try it at home and exchange it if it is too noisy.


  • Air purifiers range in price from $150 – $700.
  • Plan for replacement filters that range in price from $40 – $150.
  • If the dust is coming from a forced air, heat or air conditioning unit, there are filtering systems that can be added to the unit. These units are costly, but effective in reducing the amount of dust in the home.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the air purifier is too costly of an investment, consider an air filter. Though not as effective, they will help remove some of the dust from the air. They are available in a range of sizes and prices to fit in every budget.
  • The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) provides a website that allows for consumers to compare air cleaners.



  1. Ev says:

    My house is closed up, no A/C or furnace blower on, yet I pick up the table placemat in 24 hours and I can see the outline of dust on the table. A year ago, I had my duct work cleaned. I sleep with a humidifier on so I do not breath the dust from the air. I change my A/C filter often, buying a 1500 or 1900 filter. I will buy a room filter, if that will cure the problem. I even borrowed my neighbors Dyson vacumn to do my carpeting. I also have a dry eye problem. Do you have any suggestions to help me? Please reply. Thank You, Ev

  2. Rita B says:

    Ev–mainly my curiosity–how does a humidifier clean the air? Were you leaving the AC and furnace off as a way to keep the air clean? I ask because I have a very dusty house and that’s why I look at articles like this. I hope someone drops in with real advice. Rita

  3. Samir says:

    Imagine EV’s problem, but continuous–that’s India. The doors and windows are always open and the dust comes in by the pound coating everything. Marble floors become slippery and dangerous germs make their way into the home.

    What type of filtration system would be able to work on an environment like this? It would need to have a reusable filter too as replaceable filters would get awfully expensive fast.

  4. Peggy says:

    I have had vents checked, filters changed, new ducting put in, and I still have major dust in one room. My filters are NEVER dirty. One AC company told me my one room was hot because I needed a larger duct to that room. Cost me a lot of money. Maybe a little more air is coming out, but you can roll the dust up and put in a cup after the AC is turned on. Doesn’t take long either. Same way for heat. It looks like insulation. I am about crazy since I have bad lungs; I really need this corrected. What do I do??? I am disabled already and have to have someone clean. The cleaning lady says she has never seen anything like this. Someone please help!

  5. Melanie says:

    You said that the dust looks like insulation, which makes me think that there must be a hole somewhere in the duct that is allowing insulation in from one of the walls. Have someone check the ducts. The fact is that the dust is coming from somewhere; it’s just a matter of figuring out where. A hole in the duct makes the most sense if it is insulation material.
    A hole in a duct could also be the cause of a hot room. If there is a hole, the A/C could be going out through the hole and not making it to the room.
    The other cause could be the construction you just had done to add a new vent; there is always a lot of dust following a construction project. Some houses/apartments have intake vents within the house to recycle the air (the air is pulled out of a room, heated or cooled by the furnace or A/C unit, and then poured back into the room). This is done so that the machines don’t have to work as hard (for example, to cool air in summer, it’s easier to start with the 70 degree air inside the home rather than the 90 degree air outside). If that is the case in your home, then the dust within the house would be continuously cycling through the house (which would explain how it could be coming out of a vent). So if there is construction dust on a wall, the vents could pull that dust into the system and then spit it back out. To remedy that, this article can help: Removing Interior Construction Dust
    Source: – Stuff coming out of a vent?
    Source: Yahoo! Answers – I have insulation coming out of my air vents?

  6. Lucy says:

    I have been living in my present home since 2002 and since I have had problems with dust coming out of the vents every winter when I turn on the heat. At first this dust was blue, but now it’s light and feels like soft sand. Can this be a filter problem or a problem related with air ducts connection sucking in insulation? I have wood floors and tiles throughout the house and the crunching sound and feeling under my shoes is driving crazy. I vacuum every day and I just can’t keep up with it. Any suggestions? NEED HELP!

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