Don’t Forget to Keep Dust Under Control During the Winter

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Don’t Forget to Keep Dust Under Control During the Winter

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Dust is a lot more problematic than a lot of people think, and keeping it under control during the winter can help everyone to breathe easier and feel better while being cooped up indoors.  While it’s common to give homes a good cleaning, including heaters and duct work, during the fall, we often forget to check up on things throughout the course of the season.  This is why it’s not surprising that spikes in respiratory problems and allergies often occur during the latter-half of winter and into the early spring. 

Dust accumulates faster than a lot of people think, and it comes from a number of different sources.  We track in all kinds of things from the outside, lint and particles of fabric get into the air, dead skin, animal dander, minuscule bits of food and bugs are just a few common ingredients that comprise the stew that we call “dust”.  Consequently, we’re breathing in whatever constitutes the dust in our homes and offices.

Because many of us spend more time inside during the winter, we’re exposing ourselves to more of these contaminants.  They can be floating around in the air in small amounts that are not easily seen, or they can be kicked up when we move things or disturb dust that has settled onto surfaces.  Dust can also be pushed through our heating systems that ultimately degrade the quality of the air around us.  In a nutshell, dust is a big and ever-present problem, even if we don’t see it.

Of course, the extent of dust problems in your home will depend on a host of factors.  How you or your family reacts to dust also will depend on the level of exposure and what material is being inhaled.  However, while even the cleanest homes with the best heating systems can reduce the amount of dust that gets into the air, particles can never be completely eliminated.  Now imagine the possible problems that can stem from living in less-than-ideal circumstances. 

Few Options, One Solution

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The best solution to dealing with dust-related problems is prevention.  This involves not only keeping things clean, but also trying to reduce the amount of causes in order minimize exposure.  This may involve keeping outdoor clothing, shoes or boots isolated from the rest of the house or being diligent with cleaning, shaking out linens outdoors.  It can involve keeping a few windows cracked in your workshop or garage or cleaning some of the duct work in your heating system. 

No matter what you decide to do, the goal is to reduce the amount of dust coming in while also getting rid of as many particles that are already inside as possible.  You also want to find ways to improve air circulation, spend some more time outdoors and consider wearing surgical masks when in situations where you are exposed to breathing in dust. 

At the end of the day, the best option is to get as much fresh air as possible by spending more time outdoors or in clean air environments.  For the times we’re stuck indoors for long periods of time, it’s important that we’re mindful of the impact that prolonged dust exposure can have on our health and well-being.  It’s also important to incorporate dust control into your preparedness efforts as well. 

While this may seem trivial in the big scheme of things, dust plays a surprising role in making life more miserable during a survival situation or crisis.   Make sure that you are keeping up on dust control during the tail-end of winter and early spring in order to keep the indoor air as fresh as possible.