Your air circulation system is another happily labor-free way to keep dirt out of your home. Think about it: If you have ductwork for heating and cooling, sooner or later every molecule of air in your house must pass through this system. Check out these simple suggestions for how to stop neglecting the one element that affects all the rooms in your home:
1. Focus on the filter. Keep a nice, clean filter in there snagging the dust out of the air. Replace the filter at least twice a year to prevent that airborne grime from wafting all over the house. Switch filters as often as once a month if the filter collects lots of dust during the heating and cooling seasons.
2. Enlist a pro. If your ducts are clogged with dust and debris, or if you can see mold building up in there, call in a professional duct cleaner, who will clear everything out with a high-powered vacuum. Your ducts may get particularly grimy if you’ve done work that throws around a lot of dust (say, wood floor refinishing or remodeling), if your furnace malfunctions and throws soot around willy-nilly, or if you frequently use a fireplace or wood stove.
3. Prevent problems. Make sure your windows and doors seal tightly. Some utility companies will inspect your home without charge to determine whether you have any cracks where heat or air-conditioning could be seeping out — which means that dirt could be creeping in through the same cracks.