Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

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brookline
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Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by brookline » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:35 am

Hi everybody,
I have a major dust allergy. I need a cheapo solution to manage it. I've been working part-time and/or out of the house for awhile or unemployed so I've been managing my dust allergy with lots of vacuuming and a HEPA air filter. I'm getting allergy shots but told they won't have any effect for another year or so. However, circumstances have changed & I must take a full-time job out of the house. I can expect to be working some overtime so I won't be able to do much vacuuming anymore. I have a spouse, a 5-year-old, & an almost 11-year-old. None of them pick up much & don't want to start. Clutter and dropped food are an issue. I've tried & failed over a period of many months to modify that behavior. We have a 2-story house with mostly hardwood floors, a couple thin rugs, and a scattering of dropped toys and clothing. The house has forced-hot air for heat which does a lovely job of blowing dust around. My best ideas to manage the dust when I'm back to an office job are to buy a Roomba or Neato (possibly used) and run them daily and have a house cleaner come in weekly. I might buy another air filter too. Are there other frugal or frugalish ways to handle this?

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:05 pm

Image

This one's only $25. That's not including the helmet, but you said you wanted to be frugal about it.

brookline
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by brookline » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:30 pm

Funny but not practical

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:55 pm

I'd argue it's less-funny than the idea to buy a Roomba and employ a maid. The concept being similar to Low-Tech Magazine's article about heating yourself, not your whole house. That's just wasteful.

OTCW
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by OTCW » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:09 pm

Look into maybe geeting your ducts cleaned. Use good filters for the furnace, vacuum a lot. Also saline nasal spray can help.

jennypenny
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by jennypenny » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:24 pm

I was going to suggest a surgical mask. They are easy and cheap, and there are washable ones if you don't like to use disposable stuff.

brookline
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by brookline » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:11 pm

OTCW wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:09 pm
Look into maybe geeting your ducts cleaned. Use good filters for the furnace, vacuum a lot. Also saline nasal spray can help.
Thanks I'll check into getting the ducts cleaned. I use saline spray regularly.

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bryan
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by bryan » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:35 pm

Along the lines of jennypenny and Kriegsspiel's advice:
mask - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LWD1ZNA
nose filters - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004KQF9QA

Before I had a mask, I would stuff some small tear of tissue or toilet paper up my nose (much better than nothing) before doing anything that would stir up dust.

halfmoon
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by halfmoon » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:14 pm

@brookline, you have my sympathy. Some thoughts:

1. Stake out one room of the house as your dust-free zone. Keep it clean and don't let anyone else in. You can venture out to visit the rest, but that can be your refuge (sadly, I'd recommend sleeping there).

2. Google some nasty pictures of dust mites and share them with the family. Explain that these things are in the rugs, the furniture, the dropped clothing and everyone's noses. Yuk.

3. Use a generic form of Flonase. If you search around online, you can find some good deals (I just ordered five 120-dose Kirkland vials for around $36). This is ineffective if you just spray periodically as opposed to daily.

4. I also just ordered an air purifier recommended by Consumer Reports for $250. No idea if it will help, but we're desperate.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:18 pm

For keeping a room free of dust:

* HEPA air filter -- I bought somewhat fancy ones ($120 USD on sale on Amazon) but I saw some regular ones at a local thrift store that will work just as well with a new filter (or washed filter if they take a washed filter). Or you can DIY with a box fan and a big HEPA filter from a big box store. I haven't tried it but it's been mentioned here before.

* Steam clean the floor regularly with a steam mop. I've found this really helps. A steam cleaner is fairly inexpensive. I see them used sometimes on Craiglist. I bought ours new for maybe $65 USD on sale. We have one that comes with cloth pads that we wash in the laundry machine. Key is to use distilled water as any minerals gum up the tiny nozzle(s) and render it worthless (well, technically my dad figured out how to repair his but he is a retired engineer -- most people end up tossing theirs).

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Ego
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by Ego » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:51 pm

Consider the possibility that you are treating the symptoms and that the desire for a dust-free house is the cause.

http://gettingstronger.org/2011/02/alle ... -hormesis/

He wrote that back in 2011. Since then there has been a ton of confirming research including work done with life-threatening peanut allergies in children where they used exposure therapy in conjunction with probiotics to desensitize the immune system.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/n ... ys/8814264

Also, hookworms appear to work for many autoimmune problems. :D

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-new ... 180955516/

saving-10-years
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by saving-10-years » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:19 pm

@Ego My (now adult) son has a severe allergy to peanuts and cashews since he was 1 year old, and has to avoid some nuts completely, so the second link is very interesting to me. There is a link to the Lancet article here in case you are collecting these. http://thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanc ... 0041-X.pdf You need to register but access is free. You might also like to read the comment article on the article - which points out that there was no food challenge of the patients starting the trial, because at the time this was not done - it is the practice now. Fresh research into this will yield very interesting results.

It could be that there were no severe (anaphylaxis) cases involved in the first trial - numbers in this category are small and parents would I imagine be very reluctant to expose their severely allergic child to this risk. The advice you are given as a parent of a child prone to anaphylaxis is to avoid the food altogether as each exposure makes the severity of the reaction worse. There is also the problem of getting a child to understand that in one context its okay to eat peanuts (e.g. in the trial in very small amounts with observation) but in another its not (e.g. eating a chocolate bar with nuts in it offered by someone not aware of the allergy).

Our son grew up gnawing on sheep hurdles so in his case he was exposed to lots and lots of interesting bugs. I have an idea of what happened with him that causes such severe reactions but hopefully this new approach will at least help de-sensitise people like him so that if he does ingest nuts accidentally he can at least have a better chance of survival.

@Brookline really sympathise and agree with lots of the advice. Hoping that you can at least secure a space within your house where you can relax and take the mask off. Is this a relatively recent thing or something you had from childhood but better controlled without these environmental factors? Any chance of changing the heating system?

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Riggerjack
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:51 pm

Dust is removed physically. You can make a dust trap with a shop vac, a bit of tubing, and water. Think bong, you want to extend the inlet tube down to near the bottom of the canister, and air bubbling through water will leave the dust behind. This is good for high dust situations like drywall sanding.

As a day to day solution, first, replace your furnace filter. This should be done regularly. This is your primary dust removal system, use it as such. You can usually run the fan, without the heater, in summer, to keep removing dust.

Next, go to home depot, grab a bathroom fan. First listen to one running, and get a good compromise between noise, capacity, and price, depending on your preferences.
Then go to the electrical Dept, and grab a 110 v power cord to wire to the fan.
Get a measurement of the box opening of the fan, and go online, order a washable air filter. These are metal, work on static electricity, and when you need to change it, you stick it in the sink and wash it out, let it dry, and put it back.

You can just duct tape it into place, or get as fancy as you like and build a housing.

I recommend the bathroom fan because they can be very quiet, but any fan works. I worked something like this out for a friend who works construction, doesn't have central heating, and needed a dust removal system for his bedroom, so he could sleep. The cost of the HEPA filters was more than he was willing to spend. I understand that the price of these have dropped, but this is still a simple, quiet fix. Good luck.
Last edited by Riggerjack on Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:43 pm

@Riggerjack You meant the furnace filter not the fan, right?

I like the revision of this idea from a box fan to a bathroom vent fan. Great idea.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:30 pm

Yes, the furnace filter should be your primary dust control. Lots of air moving there, so it is ideal for dust control. But good furnace filters can be expensive, especially, if you are changing them as recommended. That is why i suggested the auxiliary cleanable filter. Costs nothing but time and water to clean. My friend is still hosing his off every week, and it needs it each time. His house has a combination of old carpet and a radiant heat system, so no central air moving system. A perfect storm for dust sensitive types.

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C40
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by C40 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:24 pm

If you aren't already, start eating very clean - lots of vegetables, real meat, and little to no food that has been processed. From what I hear (and maybe experience myself, it's hard to tell exactly) this can help a lot with allergies and other immune system issues. I don't know whether it specifically helps with dust problems, but if not, it's still good advice anyways.

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FBeyer
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by FBeyer » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:32 am

brookline wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:35 am
...I have a spouse, a 5-year-old, & an almost 11-year-old. None of them pick up much & don't want to start. Clutter and dropped food are an issue. I've tried & failed over a period of many months to modify that behavior...
I must be misreading this. Are you telling me that you have a health issue, and none of your family members are WILLING to help you?

The KonMari book has proven to be an amazing emotional tool to help people clean up their shit. Once shit is cleared out of the way permanently, cleaning becomes much easier than it used to. A LOT easier! Have you or your spouse read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying?

It's your health we're talking about, I don't understand why the rest of the family are not there to help you. Like: I do not understand this at all.

brookline
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by brookline » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:04 am

C40 wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:24 pm
If you aren't already, start eating very clean - lots of vegetables, real meat, and little to no food that has been processed. From what I hear (and maybe experience myself, it's hard to tell exactly) this can help a lot with allergies and other immune system issues. I don't know whether it specifically helps with dust problems, but if not, it's still good advice anyways.
Thanks, I've been on the Paleo Autoimmune diet for years. Unfortunately, the dust allergy reemerged while I was on the diet. It was & is very good for my joints & digestive system. I've probably gotten out of what I'm going to at this point.

brookline
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by brookline » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:07 am

FBeyer wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:32 am
brookline wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:35 am
...I have a spouse, a 5-year-old, & an almost 11-year-old. None of them pick up much & don't want to start. Clutter and dropped food are an issue. I've tried & failed over a period of many months to modify that behavior...
I must be misreading this. Are you telling me that you have a health issue, and none of your family members are WILLING to help you?

The KonMari book has proven to be an amazing emotional tool to help people clean up their shit. Once shit is cleared out of the way permanently, cleaning becomes much easier than it used to. A LOT easier! Have you or your spouse read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying?

It's your health we're talking about, I don't understand why the rest of the family are not there to help you. Like: I do not understand this at all.
Hi FBeyer,
My spouse hasn't been vested in our marriage for some years. I'm sticking around because of the kids. The nearly 11-year-old has sided with mom in our dysfunctional situation. She sees making a mess a way of getting back at Daddy who is in conflict with Mommy. The 5-year-old doesn't pick sides but can't do much developmentally in way of cleaning.

brookline
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Re: Dust-Free House on the Cheap?

Post by brookline » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:08 am

brookline wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:07 am
FBeyer wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:32 am
brookline wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:35 am
...I have a spouse, a 5-year-old, & an almost 11-year-old. None of them pick up much & don't want to start. Clutter and dropped food are an issue. I've tried & failed over a period of many months to modify that behavior...
I must be misreading this. Are you telling me that you have a health issue, and none of your family members are WILLING to help you?

The KonMari book has proven to be an amazing emotional tool to help people clean up their shit. Once shit is cleared out of the way permanently, cleaning becomes much easier than it used to. A LOT easier! Have you or your spouse read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying?

It's your health we're talking about, I don't understand why the rest of the family are not there to help you. Like: I do not understand this at all.
Hi FBeyer,
My spouse hasn't been vested in our marriage for some years. I'm sticking around because of the kids. The nearly 11-year-old has sided with mom in our dysfunctional situation. She sees making a mess a way of getting back at Daddy who is in conflict with Mommy. The 5-year-old doesn't pick sides but can't do much developmentally in way of cleaning.
To be fair, my wife will clean up occasionally but she is used to others picking up after her or just letting things stay where they drop.

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