The truth about carpets may surprise you. Over the past decade, this popular floor covering has gained quite a reputation, fueled by a plethora of assumptions and misconceptions. But if you delve deep into the facts about carpeting you will learn that it is a reasonable flooring option that offers benefits for everyone, including allergy sufferers.
Which demographic can benefit most from carpet and why?
Carpet provides style and comfort along with the added safety function. Perfect for children and the elderly, this safe flooring option helps reduce the likelihood of slips and falls and softens the blow when impacts do occur. In addition, carpet absorbs noise and helps provides thermal resistance. This is a great money saving feature because it holds in heat, helping to conserve energy and lower heating costs.
One of the biggest misconceptions regarding carpet flooring is that it is bad news for people with allergies. Per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 60 million people in the U.S, live with respiratory issues. Multiple studies have concluded that carpet is indeed a good option for these people.
Carpet flooring studies
A Swedish study was conducted over the course of 15 years. It found no correlation between allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, and carpets. Interestingly, it was discovered that when carpet use was reduced by 70 percent, allergy symptoms in the Swedish population heightened by 30 percent.
An American study concludes that school children with a carpeted bedroom do not have asthma and require less days off from school. These are only the results of two out of many studies that squash the assumption that carpets exacerbate allergy symptoms.
How can carpet benefit asthma and allergy sufferers?
Since carpets are not contributing to the problems, how can they make them better? Well, carpet fibers act like a filter that grabs and traps harmful allergens such as dust, pet dander, and pollen, out of the air you breathe in your home. Through the proper cleaning methods, they can be removed easily.
Think about cleaning a carpet like you would wash a load of laundry. You wear your clothes each day and they become dirty, they need to be freshened up. Carpets need to be treated the same way. They take a lot of abuse and need to be cleaned regularly for improved performance and aesthetic appeal.
To protect your carpet, reduce allergens and to maintain good air quality indoors, consider practicing the following tips:
- Vacuum often: If you own one or more pets, and for high-traffic areas, vacuum every day. For moderately traveled spots vacuuming at least twice, a week should maintain the area. Light-traffic carpeted areas should be cleaned once a week.
- Limit how much dirt gets in the home: Place a mat at the entryway to your home for visitors to wipe their feet. Require that anyone who enters the house must first remove their shoes.
- Have carpet professionally cleaned: An annual professional cleaning will extract dirt and allergens that are deeply embedded and hard to reach through regular vacuuming.
If you have severe allergies, it is a good idea to also have upholstered furniture, blinds, and drapes deep cleaned. These fixtures also need regular cleaning, just like carpet. Microscopic allergens from outside can get in through open windows and build up on curtains, drapes, and blinds.