Tip Jar: Defeat Dust Mites!

Real Estate Agent with The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia

It was a beautifully appointed Philadelphia Home For Sale that I was showing. As we entered the dining room, I dragged my finger gingerly across the smooth surface of the wooden dining table and without thought wrote my name in cursive through a thin layer of dust. “ Whoa! This place is really dusty.” I thought. How could this be? The home was seemingly immaculate in every way? This is a sign that the home’s air filter was due for a change.

Did you know that most people spend about 90% of their day inside? The quality of inside air then becomes a topic of importance. Changing your home’s air filter regularly can reduce your heating and cooling costs plus save your HVAC system from unnecessary damage due to dirt and improper maintenance. Clogged air filters are the #1 reason why home air systems fail. If a failing HVAC system is not enough to get you to Home Depot to buy a new air filter for a few bucks then maybe this is:

Dust can be made of the following delightful things:

In Average Homes

Dead skin cells

Dried dust mite feces and the remains of their dead corpses

Pollens, dander, and other allergens

Clothing fibers

In New Construction Homes

Drywall dust

Cement dust

Paint particles

Chemicals from flooring and appliances

Homes with Pets

Do we really even need to go there?

Our tip is to change your home's air filter 2-3 times per year, not only to keep your home's air system functioning optimally but to keep you from breathing in the dead corpses of dust mites. May they rest in peace but not up our noses! Ew...


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Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Here in Manhattan with all of the traffic and living in these large buildings where the air quality is hard to control, an air filter is a definite must. 

Oct 27, 2011 05:49 AM #18
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

When you think about all of the nasty stuff you could be breathing in, it makes me want to run out and buy new filters right now.

Oct 27, 2011 06:28 AM #19
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

I'm convinced. Home Depot here I come. We will change these more often this year - I just forget!!

Oct 27, 2011 06:30 AM #20
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Great reminder! I try for monthly, but I'll try harder. Thanks!

Oct 27, 2011 07:27 AM #21
Didi Doolittle
Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, Eagle Office - Vail, CO
Vail, CO Realtor 970.232.8225

Ewww, I hate to even think about what is floating in the air of homes with old filters.  I sure don't change mine 2-3 times a month, but need to as I have two dogs.  Thanks for the reminder!

Oct 27, 2011 08:07 AM #23
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

2-3 times a month?!  Wow, that's a first.  I usually do once a month but might reconsider.

Oct 27, 2011 08:29 AM #24
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I would agree that most people do not take the time to change them as often as they should. Great tip!
Oct 27, 2011 08:52 AM #25
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Great tip as we change seasons and move from AC to heat.  It's a good idea to change your filter when you spring foward or fall back with the twice yearly time changes.

Oct 27, 2011 09:11 AM #26
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Great comments everyone! I see I got a few people grossed out. All in the spirit of Halloween!

Oct 27, 2011 09:40 AM #27
Mike Engeman
Momentum Realty Group - Irvine, CA
Irvine Real Estate Specialist

Excuse me while I go change my air filter!

Oct 27, 2011 11:03 AM #28
Coral Gundlach
Compass - Arlington, VA
Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate.

So many people forget to change those filters!  

Oct 27, 2011 01:23 PM #29
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

You wrote your name in dust on the table?  Did you leave a business card, too? That would have been redundant.

Oct 27, 2011 01:47 PM #30
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Christopher and Stephanie:

Good tip.  Its the little things that matter.  I do hope you dusted the table to remove your name.

Oct 27, 2011 02:53 PM #31
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

I think that even if you change the air filters you still have to dust at least every two weeks.  I notice my television attracts dust like crazy. The electric charge from it must attract the dust. 

Oct 27, 2011 03:33 PM #32
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Christopher and Stephanie - Alright that list of yours convinced me.  It sure sounds nasty.

Oct 27, 2011 04:46 PM #33
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®
The hubby changes ours in the first of every month! It's a bit of an overkill (sometimes the filters still look good to me!). :OP
Oct 27, 2011 05:18 PM #34
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Really replacing or washing the filter(s) once a month is more advised, except perhaps those months the system is not used very much.  The air filter protects the unit but does not do much cleaning of the indoor air.  Your HVAC system only exchanges the air in the house about 2 times a day.  To filter it adequately the system would have exhange it 10-12 times an hour.

The best way to control dust mites is vacuuming and dusting.  85% of the dust in the air lands on floors and furniture.

Oct 27, 2011 09:33 PM #35
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

The yuck factor here will certainly increase the buying of filters. Going to get mine now.            

Oct 28, 2011 12:06 AM #36
Joshua Stein
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Conshohocken - Flourtown, PA
Homes For Sale - Montgomery County

I'm glad I had just changed mine the other night. The old one was disgusting.  The pros recommend changing the filter every three months or so.

Oct 28, 2011 12:48 AM #37
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

That is really disgusting, but true.  When I lived in Vegas and had dogs and a ton of dust in the desert, that Filtrete allergen filter was changed every 4-6 weeks1  Plus I had an air filter on each floor.

Oct 28, 2011 04:43 AM #38
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