Spring has finally sprung and along with that come lots of Allergies for a lot of us in the Roseville area.
The science of indoor air quality is very interesting and relatively new. In the past, the focus was on the quality of the outside air and the interest was in lowering emissions of all types into the air. But, as we now spend more time indoors – an average of 90% of our time – indoor air quality has become a concern to the EPA, as well as government and private health organizations.
Following the energy-saving efforts, buildings and homes are now much more air-tight, leaving little opportunity for diluting the indoor air with fresh air from outside. Indoor air has thus become more polluted.
But, what’s the connection between indoor air quality and carpets?
In the past, physicians recommended that their asthma and allergy-suffering patients remove carpeting from the home. It was erroneously thought that carpeting exasperated their conditions.
Recently, the EPA performed a study of hundreds of homes, schools and office buildings and concluded that the choice of carpeting as a floor covering was actually beneficial in the fight against asthma and allergies.
When scientifically tested, the air in the “breathing zone” above carpets was found to contain fewer allergens than the air above hard surfaces. Carpet tends to collect and hold the allergens out of the air, where they remain, until the carpet is vacuumed or professionally cleaned. In contrast, allergens that settle on hard surface flooring, tend to be redistributed to the breathing zone with normal foot traffic or the simple act of running a broom over the flooring surface.
One unfortunate result of the EPA’s study is that we now know that many families removed carpeting from their homes in an effort to reduce allergy symptoms, only to find that they gained no improvement in their conditions. Their carpeting was an asset, rather than a detriment, to the quality of their indoor air.
In concluding that carpeting is a benefit to indoor air, the EPA now recommends that carpeting be cleaned at least every 6 months to rid the carpeting of these allergens. A carpet that is not regularly maintained has a reduced ability to collect indoor air pollutants.
• Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. This cannot be stressed enough. You should vacuum at least twice a week, more often if you have pets. Vacuuming helps rid your carpeting of dust, dust mite feces, animal hair and dander, human hair and dead skin, mold spores, dead bugs and abrasive – carpet life shortening – sand and soil. Make sure that you use a vacuum cleaner that has a high efficiency HEPA filtering system. If you need suggestions for choosing a new vacuum, call us.
• Don’t sweep your hard surface flooring. Sweeping redistributes allergens to the air. Vacuuming your floors, followed by a damp mop, will help keep the air your family breathes cleaner.
• Adopt a “no shoes” policy in your home. This will keep outdoor pollutants from entering the home.
• Make sure that you change your filters monthly. Consider using high-efficiency HEPA air filters.
We hope your find these tips helpful. Follow these simple tips, and not only will you have a healthier home, but your carpeting will last longer also!