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Dusting, sealing the window sills and cracks, installing a great air purifier are some of the many ways of keeping dust out of your house. But even after doing everything, sometimes you may still find dust floating in your air and living spaces. So, how do you keep dust from coming out of vents?
You can stop dust from coming out of vents through regular inspection and cleaning of your duct-work, fixing of any cracks or faulty in the system and replacement of dirty or worn out air vent filters.
Why is dust coming out of vents?
There are two main reasons for dust coming out of your heating and cooling vents; faulty ductwork and clogged vent filters. During renovations or building the house, construction works produce lots of concrete dust that is sometimes left in the crawl spaces.
When this happens and the duct has some cracks that are leaking, the dust in the crawl spaces will find its way into the living spaces through the vents.
Faulty, worn out or clogged air vents filters could also be a major reason for dust coming out of your vents. Instead of trapping dust floating in the air, the worn out filters redirect it to the house. Air filters need a regular cleaning or replacement as recommended by their manufacturer.
What is the black dust around vents?
Having black stuff around your vents is an indication of serious issues within your ducts and the HVAC filters. When coupled with other signs such as frequent sneezing, coughs, difficulty in breathing, runny nose, and skin irritation among others, it is clear that you are living with black mold in your house. But where could the mold be coming from?
Mold thrives well under moist, warm, and low light conditions, all of which are available in the ductwork. Moisture is a result of the humid conditions that are eliminated by the purifier, while warmth comes from your cooking, especially if you do not have a range hood installed in your kitchen.
And because there is debris created by dust accumulation, this forms a perfect medium for the growth of mold in the dark air duct. Heavy-duty cooking also produces lots of smoke that contains black particles known as soot.
Together with cool breeze from outside, the mold and soot are blown back into your house by the conditioner through the cooling vents. The black stuff does not have to be mold or soot; it could also be dark dust sucked in through leaks in the air duct.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get rid of black dust around air vents. However, you may need to hire professional HVAC cleaners to handle the problem.
How to keep dust from coming out of vents
There are a number of ways to keep dust from coming out of your vents:
1. Clean the ducts
The major cause of dust coming out of your vents is a dirty duct. The dust sucked from your living space contains smoke, fibers, pet dander, and dirt carried by shoes from outside. When all these accumulate into heaps of debris in the duct, together with the conditioned air, the dust may be blown back into the house.
To avoid this, normalize cleaning your duct often. If this happens to be too challenging for you, then you should call in professional cleaning services to do the job for you. These have the knowledge and skills to do a great job without damaging the duct or the filters.
2. Patch and seal the ducts
Cracked and worn out air ducts can collect dust and dirt from every part of the house, especially the crawl spaces. All this dust and dirt could end up in the living space if the duct is not cleaned often or when the filters are completely worn out.
Similarly, rodents and insects could find their way into the duct and leave their droppings there. Over time, the droppings will turn into dust that ends up in your house. This is why you should do everything possible to seal and patch your air ducts.
Even if you recently bought or built the house, the air ducts are bound to wear and tear and should thus be repaired from time to time.
3. Replace the filters
Air vent filters are tasked with attracting dust. When the filters are too old or worn out, they may become clogged and fail to attract dust. When the conditioned air is being blown into the house from outside, dust will be sent back into the living spaces.
Ensure to buy quality HEPA filters because they can pick up even the tiniest dust particles. You should also ensure that the filters have a MERV of 13 and above for maximum filtration. You could also go for the washable filters and save yourself some money for other important purposes.
Dust coming out of your vent is not the only concern for worn-out filters; they also overburden the air conditioner, hence reducing the longevity of the equipment. You also stand to incur inflated monthly energy bills, something that you do not want.
4. Conduct regular duct checks
It does more good than harm to conduct regular checks to ascertain the conditions in the air ducts. It is during these checks that you will realize the build-up of dust, rodent, and insect infestation or leaks in the air ducts.
Through this, you will take the necessary steps and stop dust from forming even before it starts coming out of your air vents.
How to prevent dust around air vents
Even before you think about how to deal with dust coming out of your air vents, you should think of what you can do to prevent it in the first place. So now the question remains; how can you prevent dust around air vents?
1. Clean the house regularly
Having seen that too much dust accumulation in the air ducts could result in dust coming out of your air vents, you should clean your house regularly. Cleaning the house often ensures a clean environment in the house; one that is void of dust.
But to effectively dust your house, use the right tools; damp microfiber cloths and vacuum. Also, dust in the right direction to prevent dust from spreading to all corners of the house; start from the top and work your way down to the floor.
2. Schedule maintenance
A healthy and effectively working air conditioner is the key to solving dust through the air vents problems. The only way to maintain a healthy air conditioner is by scheduling for maintenance once in a while.
And if you have kids and or pet in the house, it is obvious that you will end up with loads of dust and this calls for frequent maintenance. The maintenance should be left to HVAC professionals only. You should also keep all records so that the professionals can track the performance of the system over time.
3. Improve air quality
The fact that you have an HVAC system in place does not mean that you should be reckless with air in your home. Poor air quality poses a serious threat to your health, overburdens the equipment as well as inflating your energy bills.
In a bid to improve air quality at home, consider cleaning the house often, tucking your clothes and fabrics inside the close, clearing all the clutter, and ditching harmful aerosols like sprays and insecticides.
It is a no surprise that dust could be coming from the crawlspace and get into your living space through your heating and cooling vents. Look no further apart from your ductwork when you see dust coming out of vents.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.