Living in the city has many perks. But one major disadvantage is air pollution. Our apartments are affected by roadside pollution and we track in a lot of dirt when we come home. Dust is a mortal enemy because it builds up so quickly here. If you find yourself sneezing and coughing at home, the problem could be dust. Here are our suggestions on maintaining a dust free apartment so you can breathe a little better.

3M Filtrate

We have been using this product for a while now and it is great at filtering super fine particulates that your regular a/c filter can’t. We asked our local air conditioning man if such filters are necessary and to our surprise he said, “No, because it will make the a/c work harder since more air flow is blocked. You will run the risk of your a/c not working.” I was scratching my head because I loved how much dust 3M Filtrate blocks. We went and did some research and we realized we were installing it all wrong! Instead of covering up the whole filter, you only cover up the middle, allowing ample air flow. We are glad we came across this video below! Make sure you replace the 3M Filtrate based on the attached indicator.

How to install 3M Filtrate into a split system air conditioner

3M Filtrate

Clean Air Conditioner Filter every 3 Weeks

This has to become a habit. Over the summer you will turn your air conditioning on because temperatures are in the mid 30s Celsius (low 90s Faranheit). This also means dust will be accumulating on your a/c filter very quickly because it’s working so hard. The more dust on your filter, the more you will be breathing it in.

dust build up on air conditioner filter

After 1 month of filter and 3M Filtrate use. Notice our incorrect application of 3M Filtrate

Proper application of 3M Filtrate allowing for more air flow

Invest in a Good Vacuum

If you haven’t already, get yourself a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and vacuum at least every 2 days. Vacuuming actually blows hot air out when in use. If your vacuum doesn’t have a good HEPA filter, you are basically sucking in and blowing out all the nasty stuff back to your apartment. We recommend two types:

  • A canister vacuum works better because it is just more powerful. They are perfect if you have pets or carpet. We use a Miele and yes they are expensive. But 7 years in and it is still working strong. It is also very easy and convenient to get replacement filters and other parts as the large appliance stores here carry a range of their products. The detachable and telescopic hose makes storing more compact and space saving.
  • Stick vacuum. Those who are really lacking space and don’t have pets or carpets, there is nothing like the Dyson. Great flexibility because it can go wireless and space saving because of its slim profile. It’s a masterful piece of engineering worth every penny and really built to last.

    Blue Miele space saving

    Miele

Dyson V8 cord free vacuum and parts

Dyson

Opt for No Carpet

Carpets trap dust and dander very easily. Don’t get us wrong, carpets are beautiful and offer a cozy and warm feel to your space. But gosh they are hard to maintain especially here in Hong Kong, particularly if you have a pet like us. Unless you have an incredible vacuuming habit, we recommend you to not get one. Your nose will thank you for it.

White and black cat on wooden floorboard

Photo by zelle duda on Unsplash

Don’t Neglect Dust Hidden Spots

We don’t do this enough. But areas under your sofa, top of your flat screen and even your ornaments collect filthy dust. Make sure you vacuum those areas or dampen a microfiber cloth and give the hidden areas a good wipe every month or so.

 

Dust bunny under sofa

Huffington Post

So those are our tips for maintaining a dust free environment for apartments here in Hong Kong. This is even more important for us now that we have two kids who love to pick things off the floor and into their mouths! Yes, it takes a little bit of elbow grease but a clean environment makes you breath better at home.

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