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How Dust Mites Could Affect Your Indoor Air Quality

How Dust Mites Could Affect Your Indoor Air QualityAs if the dust from the desert weren’t enough of a challenge for your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ), it may also suffer from a high population of dust mites. By themselves, these mites aren’t the most dangerous pest, but if you’re among the many who are allergic, they could be the source of considerable discomfort.

A dust mite is a microscopic spider invisible to the eye. They feed off dead skin from people and pets, and they thrive in bedroom areas where they live in mattresses, pillows, bedding, closets and carpets. Like other spiders, they shed their exoskeletons and produce waste that’s the most common source of allergic reactions. In fact, dust mite waste is the leading cause of airborne allergies.

Impact on HVAC Systems

Not only do the mites cause respiratory distress in vulnerable people, they also harm your HVAC system. Since their waste products are so small, they easily enter the air handler and travel through the ductwork. They can coat the parts inside the furnace and the cooling system, along with the ductwork, driving down the energy efficiency of the entire system.

Managing the Mite Population

Routine cleaning is the best way to manage dust mites, followed by humidity management.

  • Launder your bedding weekly in hot water and dry at the hottest dryer setting.
  • Vacuum your floors frequently, even if they’re hard surface floors. Sweeping stirs up all the particulates on the floors.
  • Keep humidity below 50 percent year-round. These mites thrive in warm, moist environments.
  • Invest in higher quality air filters for your HVAC system. Look for the densest possible air filter you can use with your HVAC system. Check the owner’s manual or ask your HVAC contractor the best filter to use for dust mite management. Denser filters trap smaller particles and will hold onto the dust mite waste better than cheaper filters.
  • Opt for hard surface or low-pile carpeting when replacing your flooring.

To learn more about managing dust mites to improve IAQ, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Alfonso de Tomas/Shutterstock”