Keeping your windows free from dust and weather-proofing entry points for dirt into your house is critical in ensuring a healthier environment for you and your family.
The reason is that dust in the home is the root cause of poor air quality, which, in turn, has profound health implications.
So how do I stop my windows from getting dusty? The best ways to stop your windows from getting dusty include regular cleaning and weather-proofing in addition to having proper dust protection in the form of window screens. To further prevent dust buildup, use dirt- and dust-repelling cleaning agents on all windows and surrounding surfaces.
We’ll give you some of the best tips and tricks to keep your windows clean and dust-free for as long as possible.
How to Prevent Windows from Getting Dusty
Cleaning your windows with a dust-repellent agent is a surefire way to prevent dust, albeit temporarily.
While there is no way to stop dust from accumulating on windows permanently, it is possible to leave them cleaner for longer by using smart but straightforward solutions.
Liquid fabric softener acts as a dust repellent when used as a cleaning agent for glass surfaces like windows and shower doors. Mix one part fabric softener with three parts water and store it in a squirt bottle.
Apply a little of this solution to a clean dusting cloth and wipe your windows with it, buffing with a dry cloth to prevent dust from building up again (source).
Dirt and dust that enters the home and settles on windows and other surfaces originate from the outdoors and, by keeping your window sills spotless, you will prevent unwanted dirt and dust wafting in with the breeze and settling on panes.
Use your fabric softener and water solution also to wipe your interior window sills to place you on the path to a spotless home.
According to Reader’s Digest, the most straightforward and inexpensive way to protect your outdoor sills from accumulated dirt is to apply a layer of floor wax to the sill. If you have some WD-40 handy, it will perform the same function.
If anyone in the household smokes, the secondhand smoke particles will cause windows to get grimy, which, in turn, attracts dust and allows it to cling to the panes.
The same holds for windows that face smoky outdoor areas used for BBQ or bonfires.
Washing your windows with an ammonia solution is the only way to clean this secondhand smoke debris and properly ensure spotless windows. Use a scented ammonia solution indoors for a better smell.
Curtains and Blinds
Curtains, including sheer or lace drapes, are magnets for dust and debris.
Prevent your windows from getting dusty by regularly washing curtains and other drapes with fabric softener. Fabric softener has an anti-static agent that repels dirt for longer.
Additionally, blinds present the same problem, except that the dust on blinds is not only an eyesore but an absolute headache to clean as you cannot simply shove them in the washing machine.
To make this usually tedious job more manageable, place an old sock over your hand and wipe both sides of one blind in a single go.
Once your blinds are dust-free, wipe them with a fabric softener sheet made for the washing machine. The anti-static on the sheet will prevent dust from immediately settling on the blinds again.
If your windows are drafty even when closed, this is a tell-tale sign that they are not only letting dust into the home but also unnecessarily attracting dirt and dust from outside, which then settles on the panes.
There are several ways to weather-proof drafty windows, and you don’t need to be an expert at home maintenance to do it.
The most inexpensive way to prevent dust coming through windows is to use rubber weather sealing tape that you can buy at any home improvement store.
Simply cut the adhesive strips to size and stick them directly onto the inner frame to seal off any spaces along the edges (source).
You can also create an airtight seal for your windows by using rope caulk, which is packaged as strips.
Cut a strip loose from its fellows, cut it to the size of your window length, manipulate the putty until malleable, and then press it into place along the inner edges using your fingers.
Sealant or Foam
If you are skilled at small home improvement tasks and want something a little more durable than caulk or weather-stripping, you will need to apply a high-performance caulk sealant or low-expansion foam.
Use a caulk gun for the caulk sealant and a shooter foam gun for the foam, and apply a small bead of either sealant along the exterior window seams.
Once dry, either sealant will prevent not only drafts but also moisture from entering. The biggest bonus of this way of sealing a window is that you can paint it to be more aesthetically pleasing.
Preventing Dirt from Entering through Windows
Air Filters and Purifiers
If your indoor air is unusually dusty and this, in turn, leads to dust settling on window panes, it could be time to change your air filter.
If your house has a heating or cooling system, you need to regularly change the filters that go along with it to ensure clean air circulating in the home.
Modern homes trap dirt and dust due to their airtight quality. While your air conditioner or furnace does a decent job in the house, it can also be the culprit behind dust floating around.
Filters should be changed every second month, or more if you have pets. To test whether your filter needs a change, hold it up to the light. If you cannot see through it, it needs to be changed.
An air purifier could be another solution for an unnaturally dusty home. Air purifiers circulate the air in your home and trap dust particles within their confines.
Air purifiers can reduce allergies, keep air cleaner, and help prevent dust from accumulating on windows, sills, and other surfaces.
One of the most effective ways to keep windows free from dust is by installing window screens. There is a multitude of screens available on the market to suit every budget, need, and preference.
Different types of window screens serve different purposes, but one of the biggest benefits of a window screen is that it keeps dust and dirt from building up on windows.
An additional bonus is that cleaning a window screen is much easier and less time-intensive than cleaning a window.
Choosing and Caring for Window Screens
Selecting the right screen for your family depends on several factors and what you expect from the screen.
For those who have pets, you will need a sturdier claw- and paw-resistant screen. If you live in an area where disease-carrying insects, such as malaria mosquitoes, are prevalent, selecting a screen that keeps insects out is critical.
If you live in an excessively sunny area, it can be a good idea to invest in a screen that offers sun protection to reduce weather damage to furniture.
However, if you simply want a screen that protects from dirt, dust, and other prominent outdoor elements but still offers curb-appeal, there are several good-looking options to choose from.
Types of Window Screens
Should you be looking for a screen that will help keep dust and dirt at bay, you will need to look for screens that have a very fine mesh. As this option includes most insect screens, you will have the advantage of a dual-purpose solution.
Window screens that are good for households with pets are more scratch-resistant, sturdier, and more robust to prevent damage. If you are on the hunt for the best-looking screen on the market, copper screens offer instant curb appeal with their rustic shine.
Caring for Window Screens
A window screen that serves the purpose of keeping dust from settling on windows and in homes is only useful if properly maintained.
Regularly cleaning and washing your window screen is critical to not only expand the life of the screen but also to help it serve its purpose in preventing dust accumulation.
The editors at Reader’s Digest suggest removing the soiled screens and taking them outside to wash. You hold the screen by its edges and rap lightly against a firm surface to shake loose any dirt.
Next, use a broad, soft-bristled brush, warm water, and detergent to wash either side. Rinse with a hose and air-dry before re-installing.
You might be asking yourself, “Why do my windows and house get dusty?” Dust and dirt in the home include fine particles of solid matter. They enter the home through drafty windows or are tracked in by humans and pets.
It is essential to keep dust at bay as it can cause or aggravate health concerns such as allergic reactions, pneumonia, and asthmatic attacks.
How Do Windows Accumulate Dust?
The makeup of dust and dirt in the home includes pollen, human and animal hair and skin cells called dander, textile and plant fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, and other fine particles of solid matter.
The biggest culprits of dust in the home are pets and humans tracking it in from outside. However, dust can also enter the home through faulty or dirty air filters, dirty window screens, dusty or dirty curtains, dusty sills, and unkempt porches or walkways.
Household dust accumulates outside the home, and the trick is to prevent it from getting inside in the first place.
If it does get inside, it’s best to know how to clean it properly because simply dusting a home with a feather duster only succeeds in aggravating dust only to have it settle elsewhere.
As discussed earlier in this article, preventing dust buildup on surfaces such as windows starts by keeping dust from entering the home altogether.
Although it’s not possible to completely eradicate the dust from your home, it is possible to curb its accumulation.
Keeping Dirt and Dust Outside
As most dirt and dust originate outdoors, the best defense is a great offense. If you can stop dirt and dust in its tracks before it enters your home, it will be less likely to settle on window panes, screens, and various other surfaces.
Doormats and a No-Shoes Policy
Invest in two doormats, one for inside and one for outside the home. Having an outside mat will ensure that even most of the dirt on your dog’s paws will get trapped at the doorstep.
Additionally, you should fully commit to a no-shoes policy inside the house. You can even invest in a good pair of house loafers for everyone in the household.
Shoes track any number of unwanted elements into your home, bearing the muck and mess of the outdoors.
Window and Door Screens
As mentioned earlier in this article, you cannot go wrong with window screens.
If properly maintained and utilized, they can be one of your most significant advantages in the fight against household dust. But don’t stop at the windows! Get a screen for your door to double your efforts.
Use a Vacuum With a HEPA Filter
When vacuuming window sills or areas around windows, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air filter). These filters trap dust, harmful particles, and allergens inside the machine and prevent them from being re-released into the air.
In this way, the dust won’t simply re-settle on the window panes and sills once you move on, but the vacuum will trap it so you can properly dispose of them outside the home.
Air Quality in the Home
Keeping your home as dust- and dirt-free as possible plays a critical role in your family’s health. Good air quality is especially crucial for people suffering from existing health issues, for the elderly, and young children and babies.
The microscopic scale of dust particles means that it can easily be inhaled and potentially evoke an immune system reaction. Such allergic reactions may be minor or more significant depending on the person, and it can be extremely detrimental to young children.
Dust can also cause eye irritation and be the root of sneezing or hayfever attacks, even for those not already suffering from this affliction. If you or anyone in your household already have trouble with hayfever, excessive dust will only aggravate the problem.
Because dust is made up of minute particles of solid matter and originates in the outside world, it has the potential to carry airborne viruses and possibly pass on infections.
The biggest culprit of diseased dust is lead. Lead can contaminate dust in mining or other industrial areas can, which can be the cause of lead poisoning in children and carry lasting, harmful effects with constant lead exposure.
Impure air is an excessive aggravator of existing respiratory issues such as asthma, chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), or emphysema.
Dusty air can mean the difference between a mild or severe reaction in people who already suffer from the sort of health issues we just mentioned.
Fresh Air in the Home
Open your Windows
Although eradicating dust and dirt in the home is essential, not only for a clean house but for our health as well, it is also vital to circulate fresh air.
As we spend a large portion of our day within the confines of our homes, we should be focusing on proper ventilation.
Proper ventilation in the home can easily be achieved by simply leaving a window open. However, how long and when to leave your windows open is still critical.
However, leaving windows open invites dirt and dust into the home, so make sure that you use window screens to protect yourself and your family against unwanted elements.
You can say a lot about the effects of air conditioners in the home.
Outdoor air pollution is widespread in urban environments, so for city dwellers or people who live in a high traffic zone, air conditioning helps filter out harmful particles in outdoor pollutants to ensure cleaner air inside buildings (source).
However, it is also important to note that continually running an air conditioning unit in your home and solely relying on that for the air that you breathe can be detrimental to your health.
Air conditioners contain ducts and filters that, over time, collect not only dust but bacteria as well. Then, every time that you turn on the unit, this collection of dust bunnies and bacteria get released into the air and can be toxic to humans, especially children (source).
In the case of an unserviced unit or air conditioner that doesn’t get cleaned often, mold can build up in the unit’s inner workings and filters and be incredibly harmful when released into the interior air space of the home.
However, if you install an anti-allergen filter in your air conditioner and regularly clean the filter, replacing it when needed, you will have the benefit of a unit that filters out some of the pollen, mold, and pollution present in our air (source).
Even so, although an air conditioner comes with benefits if utilized correctly, it is still a good idea to leave your windows open for a certain amount of time every day.
Dust that accumulates on windows and finds its way into your home can be the cause of a significant number of health concerns for you and your family.
Keeping your windows and home free of dust is easy enough to do when following proper cleaning regimens and is vital for your air quality.
Through simple actions such as regular cleaning with dirt and dust-repelling agents, weather-proofing your home, proper upkeep of air filters, and the installation of window screens, you can ensure clean and healthy air in your household.