Duct cleaning is only a partial solution to a dust problem. An HVAC professional needs to take apart the home’s air handler to clean the coil.

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero’s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: Recently, we had the popcorn ceilings removed in our bedroom. Then we repainted and had new carpeting installed. That was several months ago, but ever since, we’ve had a real dust issue in the house. It’s a filmy kind of dust that clings to both the horizontal and vertical surfaces. Our contractor suggested having the air ducts cleaned on the HVAC system, but after they vacuumed the vents and ducts not much improved. How can we get rid of the dust?

ANSWER: If the duct cleaners did not take apart your air handler and clean the coil, then that could be the reason for the continuing dust. You need to have an air-conditioning expert do that extra cleaning job. The other possibility is that new-carpet fibers may be getting stirred up and migrating throughout the room. Eventually, that process should end.

Q: The paint keeps peeling off framing of a south-facing window in one of the bathrooms in my 10-year-old house. The frame is wood with wall surface around the edges. How can I fix this?

A: A bathroom is a high humidity room and that moisture can get into the wood and be absorbed. Then as the moisture evaporates, the paint lifts off the frame and possibly the wall. You need to clean the whole surface with trisodium phosphate; then take off all the loose paint that you can. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection for this cleaning process. Then wash the area again with trisodium phosphate. Rinse thoroughly with clean water after the process is done. Let the surface dry and paint the area with primer. Then caulk and finally repaint. Generally speaking, though, you may have to repaint this area every 10 years. You might also look into installing a good, high-flow exhaust fan in the bathroom to remove the moisture.

Q: I recently bought a townhouse that is between two other units. My problem is that my washer and dryer are located in what serves as a family room. The dryer is not properly vented and when I use it. I have to open the sliding glass doors in the room and close the area off from the rest of the house. Can I install a new vent on the roof?

A: You might need approval from your homeowner’s association to do that work, and they might object because cutting a hole in the roof could cause warranty problems with the roof. So before you try that, you might try another alternative – the indoor lint-trap filters sold in big-box stores. You run the dryer hose through a unit that removes the lint and dust. After a few dryer loads, you pull out a drawer and refill with water that is used to trap the lint.

Q: I keep all my tools in a shed in my backyard and most of them keep rusting. It’s a shed that was on-site when I bought the house and it has fiberglass insulation and vents.

A: Most of my tools had a rust problem, too, when I kept them in my garage. Now it doesn’t seem to happen because I installed a mini-split air conditioner in the garage. I have found that if you spray tools with a light coat of oil after you use them and then hang them up in the garage, the problem will not be as bad.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 25 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program, heard locally from 8-11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson and from 9-11 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080) and -FM (100.7) in Green Valley. Call 888-767-4348.

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