4 Harmful Contaminants Hiding In The Dust In Your Air Vents

29 January 2015
 Categories: , Articles

Dust is not just a collection of tiny harmless dirt particles floating through the air. Dust mixtures often contain tiny contaminants that could adversely affect your health. Even if you remove dust from visible surfaces in your home, you may not be ridding your living space of all of these potentially dangerous compounds. Supply lines in your heating and cooling system actually suck dust particles into the ducts, where it continually circulates throughout your home. You may need to have your ducts and vent openings cleaned out on a regular basis to rid your home of the following contaminants.


As mold develops on damp surfaces, it slowly dries out and releases spores into the air upon reaching maturity. The mold spores mix with other dust particles in the air and settle on surfaces throughout your home. Furthermore, your heating and air conditioning system components suck the spores through the ducts and shoot them back out of the vents. If the mold particles come into contact with your skin, mucus membranes or respiratory system, you could develop an allergic reaction. Symptoms of mold sensitivities or allergies include hives, sneezing, breathing difficulties and swelling of the airways.


If your home was built before 1978, it may contain lead in the paint on the walls and ceiling. As the paint peels back or flakes off, it could release lead dust into the air. Thoroughly cleaning the surfaces in your house with wet rags is absolutely necessary to prevent lead exposure, especially if you have children in the home. Lead poisoning in children can severely damage the brain, nervous system, kidneys and liver. In adults, lead exposure causes nerve damage, vision impairment and blood pressure irregularities.


Since arsenic is commonly found in the soil outdoors, you and your family members may constantly track it indoors on your shoes or clothes. The arsenic particles may mix with other dust compounds and fly through your home's airspace through the ducts. The tiny particles are easily ingested through the digestive or respiratory system. Despite being a natural substance, exposure to high arsenic levels can cause severe health problems, such as stomachache, nerve damage and even death.


Farming communities frequently use high amounts of pesticides to control insect populations. Tightly arranged housing developments may also use pesticides to eliminate insects that seek out food sources from humans and pets. Unfortunately, small amounts of pesticides can travel through the air and deposit themselves in your home. As the pesticide particles mix with dust in your home, you may consume or inhale it inadvertently. Exposure to pesticides in your environment can cause headaches, fatigue, vomiting, blurred vision and breathing difficulties.

Clearing Out The Ducts

Duct cleaning professionals use high quality equipment and detergents to remove all of the dust throughout the ducts used for the heating and cooling system. Experts start at the inlet lines and move through the ducts to the vents in each room.

After you have your ducts cleaned, you may notice that you suffer from fewer suspect symptoms not linked to allergies or colds. If this is the case, do not hesitate to bring up the situation to your doctor to pinpoint potential sensitivities.

You may also have a sample of the dust particles tested to confirm the presence of harmful compounds in your ductwork. If contaminants in your local environment build up quickly in your ductwork, consider installing high efficiency particulate arrestance, or HEPA, filters in your furnace and air conditioner units. These filters capture tiny particles floating in the air to clean up your airspace. You will still need to have your ducts cleaned by a company like http://www.nowha.com/ regularly to completely eliminate contaminants in your home.