Why Do Manufactured Homes Get So Dusty?

Why Do Manufactured Homes Get So Dusty!? (Four Reasons & Solutions!)

The older a manufactured home gets the more dust it accumulates.

Traditional homes – even decades-old shacks – aren’t as vulnerable to dust as manufactured homes.

Also, unlike traditional homes that tend to accumulate dust in specific rooms, this problem is normally felt throughout the manufactured home.

So, Why Do Manufactured Homes Get So Dusty?

There are several reasons, oftentimes have very little to do with the location. For example, don’t think a manufactured home close to a dusty road is more vulnerable because of the location. A similar home in the hinterland can be worse off.

Here are the possible explanations why your home has been so dusty lately:

1. The filters are either old or cheap

The filters on forced-air HVACs (the most commonly used kind of air conditioning systems both manufactured and traditional homes) are the first line of defense against pollen and dust.

If you haven’t replaced these filters for a long time, they are the most probable cause of your dust problems.

Also, filters aren’t created equal.

Cheap units normally come with large holes (some can be too thin, like those made of fiberglass) that permit the passage of more dust.

The dust eventually reenters your home via the cooling and heating vents.

If your filters seem to never get dirty and you know it has been ages since you replaced them, there’s a strong likelihood they are not trapping the dust in the incoming air.

Solution

Start by inspecting the filters.

Old filters should be replaced with new genuine units, preferably those with high a MERV rating.

The MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of an air filter often spans 1 to 16 – the higher the number, the more efficient the filter is.

A high MERV rating means the product is designed to catch very small particles.

A typical fiberglass filter is rated 1 – 4.

The best HVAC filter is rated 5 – 8.

Nonetheless, even the top-quality air filters with high MERV value still get saturated with dust as they age.

Also, the more frequently you use your HVAC system, the faster the filters will clog. As such, be certain to replace your air filters once every 3 months.

2. Damaged or badly installed ducts

First off, it’s worth mentioning that manufactured homes are normally made by more than one company.

The company selling the home is responsible for the general structure of the unit.

Other companies are often contracted to fit the air conditioning, electrical circuitry, and plumbing.

For that reason, different parts may not work as flawlessly as intended by the manufacturer.

With that said, manufactured home vents and ducts are highly vulnerable to dust and other debris because of their location under the floor.

Moreover, if the ducts were not installed and/or sealed properly, fine particles like dust will find their way into the rest of the system and end up in your rooms.

Worse situations can involve insects and animals that may end up blocking the system.

If you can establish that the air filters are fine, then the problem is most likely to be in the ducts and vents.

You should never wait past 3 years to inspect the whole system to make changes to malfunctioning parts.

How to identify leaks in your air ducts

Other than an overly dusty room, these situations can point to leaky ducts:

  • Cool/hot spots in your rooms
  • Some areas become noticeably hotter especially in the summer and colder during the winter. That’s because less conditioned air is getting in the room.

Unexplained high energy bills

Since less conditioned air is getting in the room, your HVAC system is compelled to operate longer to hit the temperature setting on the thermostat.

According to the findings of ENERGY STAR, the average home loses between 20 – 30% of the conditioned air in forced-air HVAC’s ductwork through gaps or holes around fittings or sometimes from unsealed joints on ducts.

Solution

Start by hiring a professional cooling and heating contractor to perform pressure tests on your HVAC system.

If they find a problem in the ductwork, go for a top-quality replacement and let them figure out the best way to have the system repaired.

But that can only be the case if the leakage is extensive. Most cases require a simple localized sealing exercise.

3. Flooring and/or trying to vacuum clean your carpet

Your flooring could be the cause of the excess dust.

No flooring is perfect – each type has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Hardwood flooring, for example, is known to accumulate dust with time until a certain point when a simple stomp on it releases noticeable clouds into the environment.

If you have a carpet on the floor, do everything within your might to cut the amount of dust settling on it.

The worst combination you could have at home is hardwood flooring, carpet, kids, and pets.

Fluffy pets like to groom and shed broken hair in the air. More debris can be created as kids play and jump on the carpet.

Most homeowners think vacuum cleaning removes the dust problem, but it could only make it worse.

Vacuum cleaning is perfect for the removal of pet fur and the fine filaments of fabrics that peel from the upholstery and the carpet itself, but not dust.

The act of vacuuming itself re-suspends dust back in the environment.

So, if you had a minor dust problem at home and kept vacuuming hoping you could stop it, chances are the machine escalated it.

Solution

You should consider switching to a non-wood floor.

If you have always dreamed about this to a point even thinking of ceramic flooring tiles, you now have a good excuse!

If you must vacuum clean your carpeted floor, at least go for a machine with HEPA-rated filters.

This class of filters – high-efficiency particulate air, as the name says – is designed to catch particles as small as .3 microns thick, meaning it can trap as much as 99.97 percent of the dust particles.

4. Leaky doors and windows

You don’t need to look hard for these – leaking doors and windows are probably the most obvious channels of dust entry into rooms.

You know your door or window is leaking if you see rays of light striking into the room via places it shouldn’t pass.

Not only are spaces around doors and windows some of the top causes of energy loss at home, but also outdoor pollen and dust can enter the room every time winds blow outside.

Solution

The solution is to apply layers of caulk on gaps around windows. Also, you can replace worn-out weather-stripping around windows and doors to keep pollen and dust outside.

Other factors that may lead to excessive accumulation of dust in your manufactured home include humidity and your own upholstery.

A  simple professional ductwork cleaning service can easily guide the homeowner through inspecting the home’s HVAC unit and filters to identify the cause of the dust.

So, How Do You Deal With Dust At Home?

There is a lot you can do:

1. De-Clutter and remember to Cut Back on Fabrics

You will be shocked by the effectiveness of decluttering.

It is simple – the more knick-knacks and trinkets you have around your rooms, the harder it is to keep the room free from dust.

So cut on the number and size of these items in your home.

Also, cut back on textiles (think: throw pillows and blankets on the sofa) and only keep what is necessary, since fabrics produce dust and trap it as well.

2. Invest in a carbon or HEPA filter air purifier

The job of the air purifier extends beyond removing microorganisms from the air – it eliminates fine particles of debris as well.

Go for a unit with carbon or HEPA filters.

Other things you can do:

  • Clean your beddings regularly
  • Keep your mat outside your door
  • Clean out the air ducts
  • Use proper cleaning equipment
  • Wash your bedding weekly frequently
  • Stick to your daily cleaning routine

Conclusion

Why do manufactured homes get so dusty?

If you haven’t replaced these filters for a long time, they are the most probable cause of your dust problems.

Also, if the ducts were not installed and/or sealed properly, fine particles like dust will find their way into the rest of the system and end up in your rooms.

You can reduce dust in your home by investing in a decent air purifier and decluttering.

References

Solved! Why Is My House So Dusty?

Three Solutions to Eliminate Excessive Dust

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