I also live in the San Francisco Bay Area where most of our houses were built before 1950 and tend to be fairly leaky.
- Every leaky point of the house is going to be a source of dust introduction including poorly sealed doors and windows, uninsulated or poorly insulated walls built without air barriers, as well as other openings like chimneys and vents.
- If you are anything like me you also live a large part of the time with your windows open since we are lucky enough to live in a wonderful moderate climate.
The most effective steps you can take to minimize the dust in your home are to minimize both the amount of dust that is introduced as well as the things inside the house that tend to collect the dust.
Shoes. Making sure that you have doormats for people to wipe their feet at all exterior doors is important since a large percentage of indoor pollutants come from shoes. Better yet, if you really want to eliminate this source completely try becoming a "no shoe" household.
Drapes, furniture, and carpet. The next thing you can do is remove the things from inside the house that tend to collect large amounts of dust like heavy drapes, upholstered furniture, and especially wall to wall carpet. Consider replacing carpet with throw rugs that can be taken outside and shaken or beaten to get the dust out of them.
Vacuuming. Finally, regular vacuuming is really the only way to keep your home relatively dust free most of the time. Central vacuum systems are nice for keeping the collection outside of the house, but these systems can be expensive. Check out centralvacuumstores.com for various models and manufacturers of central vacuums.
For more information:
Be sure to read "Improving Your Home's Indoor Air Quality: From Basic to Bigger and Better Steps" for our best tips to improve IAQ.