dusty home hvac system

Dusty Home and Your HVAC System

If you’ve lived in Utah for a while, chances are you’ve noticed some dust in your daily life from time to time. As one of the drier states in the country, mostly made up of desert land, Utah has high quantities of dust buildup and related issues.

At Roberts Mechanical, we’re here to help if these dust issues make their way into your home. Dust can make its way into the heating and cooling systems of your home and, if unchecked, can lead to a loss of efficiency from your HVAC system and potentially even health concerns for occupants of the home. Here are three common factors that contribute to the presence of dust in your home, plus how you can troubleshoot each of these to avoid these issues.

Air Filter

The first place to check if you’re noticing too much dust in your home is the filter in your furnace. You should regularly be checking on these anyway – most filters should be inspected and replaced around once a month, or sometimes even more often if you have a high-dust home or pets that shed.

The goal of the filter is to act as a trap for dust and numerous other potential contaminants. The higher the filter MERV rating, the finer the particles it will pick up. But over time, even the highest-rated filters become clogged and lose their inability to perform their function efficiently. Often the simplest solution to a dusty home is changing a filter that badly needs it.


One of the primary reasons dust is so prominent in Utah is due to the dry climate, which allows dust to flow freely and travel very quickly through your HVAC systems. While people who live in wetter climates may still have dust issues in some cases, their dust tends to settle faster and be trapped in filters more easily due to the moisture in the air.

Luckily, there are simple tools out there to help you increase this moisture content even in a dry state like Utah. Consider purchasing a humidifier for dusty rooms in your home, or even a whole-home humidifier if the issue persists across the whole house. Whole-home humidifiers are also excellent for protecting wood furniture that can wear down over time.

Leaking Ductwork

If your home is adequately humidified and your filter has recently been changed, the next-most likely source of dust is a leak in your ductwork. There are various reasons for small cracks or gaps developing in ducts, from basic aging to possible poor installation. Once these develop, they allow dust to make its way into your breathing air before contacting the filter at all.

To check for these leaks, look for a buildup of dust near your vents or in their fins. If you still aren’t sure, try turning the lights out and using a flashlight to identify the flow of dust particles in the air – following this flow can guide you to where the leak is. If you find a small leak, duct tape usually does the trick for patching it. If it’s larger, you might want to call our technicians.

To learn more about dust and your HVAC system, or for any of our furnace repair or other HVAC services, contact the pros at Roberts Mechanical today.