If you’ve seen black dust on furniture, sinks, appliances, fans, stairs, or bedding, there is some cause for concern. Black isn’t a color typically associated with dust. So, if you see this, you’re probably wondering, “Why is there black dust in my house?” We will discuss some of the possible causes and sources so you can take the appropriate steps and reduce any potential risk to your family.
Black dust is often seen in new or renovated homes, especially those with poor ventilation. The main causes include:
Furnaces and Wood Fires
Regular dust that blows into a furnace can be carbonized into black dust, while if black dust appears when burning a wood fire or candle, it is made of soot. You may see some black dust from time to time when running your furnace. If the amount increases and/or is excessive, it can mean there’s a problem with the furnace that must be checked by a professional. Black soot and dust can cause sneezing, eye irritation, and difficulty breathing as well as a range of health problems. There’s also the risk of carbon monoxide, a fire, or an explosion.
Soot particles released by wood fires or incomplete combustion of candle oils coalesce over time, forming black dust. It will continue to collect if surfaces aren’t cleaned every day. The dust can accumulate on walls, windows, and cabinets as well as behind doors and in crevices if your home isn’t well-ventilated. If a carpet is blocking air movement, you may find black dust at the base of doors. Soot particles can also be attracted to sockets and switches by static electricity.
Poor insulation causes a phenomenon known as ghosting. Soot tends to cling to cold, damp spots on surfaces, forming dark stains, patches, and streaks on walls, ceilings, cabinets, and refrigerators. The soot particles can originate from candles, furnaces, tobacco smoke, and even dust from the chimney, a vent, or even outside.
High humidity creates a damp environment that attracts soot to walls, floors, and ceilings. This can happen when you use a humidifier frequently, leave windows open in rainy weather, or hang wet clothing indoors. Dryness can also cause soot and dust particles to stick to walls. That’s because static electricity attracts them to surfaces to create black dust.
If black dust is surrounding your air vents, the affected surfaces are probably inside air ducts. Humidity is created by moisture drained from the AC system, but moisture can build up if a drain is blocked. Condensation can form inside an air duct as well, attracting particles. Aside from excess dust, a humid environment is ideal for mold, which can also be the source of the black dust you see.
How Do I Know It’s Black Dust and Not Something Else?
Black dust is typically fine and powdery. To confirm that’s what it is, soak a towel or cloth in bleach and rub the affected spot. The coloring will remain if black dust and soot particles are present. Cleaning it more thoroughly can eliminate the stain. However, if the stain is removed by bleach, the black dust is in fact mold. Black mold is a serious problem and is extremely toxic.
Can I Keep Black Dust Out of My House?
There are various ways to prevent black dust, including:
- Opening the window when using candles.
- Using LED candles and candle warmers.
- Regularly vacuum and deep clean your carpet.
- Routinely sweep under couches, beds, and other furniture.
- Replace your HVAC filter with a high-efficiency one.
Hire a Cleaning Specialist
If you’re asking, “Why is there black dust in my house?” because black soot and particles are everywhere, Restorerz can help. We provide professional cleaning services and mold remediation. Available 24/7, our company is A+ rated by the BBB and we’re locally owned and operated. Our team can therefore quickly clean up your home and make recommendations to avoid black dust in the future. To get started, request service online or call 323-826-5598.