Dust mites are tiny little arachnids that are distantly related to spiders, and thousands of them can live in a single gram of dust. They often contribute to the development of asthma in children and other sensitive people, and they can irritate those who have existing respiratory conditions, including asthma, allergies and emphysema.
While dust mites prefer humid conditions, they can still be found in the Phoenix area, and if someone in your family is affected by them, the following tips can help reduce or eliminate dust mites in your home:
Service your HVAC system: Because the proteins responsible for dust mite sensitivity collect in household dust, it’s a good idea to check the air filter in your HVAC system at least once a month, replacing or cleaning when necessary. Consider using a better air filter with an increased MERV rating to remove more dust, or, if possible, a HEPA filter for the most efficient dust removal. Have your contractor inspect and maintain the system regularly and consider having the air ducts cleaned annually to help eliminate dust mites.
Reduce humidity in your home: Dust mites prefer humidity that’s 75 percent or higher and temperatures that are greater than 70 degrees. Measure the humidity in your home, and reduce it to less than 50 percent, which will kill most dust mites. Some ways to reduce humidity include avoiding the use of vaporizers and humidifiers, making sure that stoves, combustion appliances and bathrooms are properly vented and using air conditioners for cooling, rather than swamp coolers or evaporative coolers, which generate moisture.
Clean carefully: Wait until asthma and allergy sufferers are absent to clean. Remove dust with a vacuum that employs a HEPA filter and consider using an air cleaner that also has a HEPA filter. Wash clothes and linens regularly and introduce mite-resistant bedding and mattress covers in each bedroom.
For more information about how your HVAC system can help eliminate dust mites, talk to our team at Wolff Mechanical, Inc., serving the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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