I'm all ears because I have the same problem. I am not interested in any filtration devices that have a noisy motor. I do have a Sharper Image Quadra, Ionic Breeze. It does help, but not enough.
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Dust is ugly, but with the exception of vinyl playback equipment and, to a lesser extent, the high voltage power supply of a tube amp, it won't affect audio equipment. Dust is the main reason that I rarely use my LPs.
There are machines which clean air, but unless the room is sealed up tight they won't be effective. And they are noisy. Your best bet is an old-fashoned feather duster.
I'm guessing that the dust is accumulating in the 22hrs a day you don't have your system on. I've had my dear mother sew me covers made of thick, high quality and breathable cotton in a color that matches the rack.
Obviously the drawback is that you need to wait for the gear to cool down before placing it on. Just a thought - and it's cheap.
I throw a couple of those cool looking UAL dark blue lap blankets over my rack and TT at night or when not in use. I still leave all SS stuff turned on -- just keep the back of the rack open toward the wall. That's the simple solution (along w/ an occasional light dusting with a feather duster or a Billy Bags black lamb's wool AudioDuster ;--)
Sbanks idea is good but replacement HEPA filters are very expensive and the device is only effective if you keep the room well sealed -- so getting dust-free ventilation is a problem.
One good solution (actually two) for your whole house if you have forced air heating/cooling is electostatic filters. There are powered ones, permanently installed in the main supply duct which you wipe off occasionally -- expensive but IMO can save thousands of dollars in health care costs, especially if anyone has allergies. The second is a passive (non-powered) washable electrostatic filter that replaces the fiberglas ones you (are supposed to) replace every month ;--) These are my favorite for a retrofit situation and cost about $100 for a 1 ft x 2 ft unit, but they are made to fit any size. Here's a 20 x 20 on amazon for fifty bucks: http://www.amazon.com/20x24x1-EZ-2000-Electrostatic-Washable-Filter/dp/B0006VSYQA
I highly recommend the Perfect Air Purifier from Bryant heating and cooling products. One drawback is that all of these high effecient air cleaners add a lot of static pressure to your existing furnace or fancoil. The higher staic pressure can cause more strain on your HVAC system and could possibly cause higher utility bills. It realy depends on how good or poor the duct system is. This particular air cleaner does two things. It will capture all dust particles and "KILLS" viruses. There is not much that will get by this unit. Expensive? YES. Effective? YES.
For the thing to work its best, the fan needs to run almost continuously. You don't want the dust to settle if possible and as the dust enters the house it will be sucked into the return air. Also, most of the time the dust that enters the house is because of leaks in the return air ducting. If it is not sealed real well then the dust enters the gaps in the duct work and on into the house through the supply vents. If you want to stop some dust this is a good place to look. If you are thinking about going down this road look for "NATE" certified technicians or Factory Authorized Technichans. If you have any other questions on this please feel free to email me. Or you can just use the feather duster on the audio equipment.
MOST dust in a home is human skin, animal skin, microscopic insect turds, and clothing and bedding (microscopic fragments) shedding.
Very little is actually from the outside in a suburban environment (in a city or farming area, this may not be true)
Sealed homes have a much bigger problem because the air does not change naturally from leaks and open windows. The buildup of dust is major in a sealed home. (just take a Kleenex and shake it by a sunlit window.. you may just run for your life when you see the monster flurry of shedding crap from one good shake of a Kleenex. Then think of your entire home full of fabric stuff. Animals and Humans
Elizabeth, great points. Let me add that your Heating and Cooling system just rotates that all through the house and it finds places to settle. Your furnace filter can catch some but it still blows around. I'll second my opinion to keep a air cleaner/purifier next to your rig. Yes, it's loud but, obviously, you should turn it of when you listen.
Having your air/heat ducts professionally cleaned will cut atleast 50% of the dust from your home,addiny a layer of cheese cloth to the back of each register helps a ton too.
The attic is another dust trap,if you have insulation in your attic you can lift out the insulation,vaccume & clean between the joists & install a layer of plastic sheeting,tape all the seams in the plastic with duct tape & re lay all the insulation.
I know it seems like alot of work & it is but doing these things will make a massive difference in the dust in your home & on your gear & dosent cost much except your time.
Where I worked in aerospace (missile guidance systems) a so-called "clean room" is essential for assembly of the equipment. When it all started in the 1950s the Navy built us a factory with a state of the art clean room. It was a hermetically-sealed and slightly pressurized area, with very fancy air circulation and filtering systems. When you went in you had to don white coveralls, a cap, and booties. Entry was via an air-lock where a blast of air was directed over you. The air quility was tested three times a day. In spite of all this it proved difficult to maintain the required air purity. Over the years an entirely different aproach has replaced the traditional clean room. It is called a "laminar flow work station". The room is simply built and maintained to normal office standards. However the workbench is semi-enclosed under a hood, and smoothly flowing filtered air is constantly blown over it. Air quality at the only place which matters, where the hardware is being assembled, is much better than what was achieved by the elaborate clean room that was state of the art in 1955.
Unfortunately a laminar flow workstation does not fit in well with the typical home decor.
In addition to the whole house purifier and HEPA stuff run off HVAC, I operate a few portable HEPA units in the room when someone vacuums the room. I leave them on for a few hours.
I also have a HEPA unit that operates off a wall outlet clock and turns on for seven hours when I am away from work. I put this right next to the rack on the floor.
The portable unit with a power clock is a very inexpensive and effective package.