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Your Carpet: Air Filter?

Recent studies show that with the right cleaning and maintenance procedures your carpet can actually be a way to help clean the air inside your home. Experts say that installing carpet can result in a decreased amount of allergens and pollutants. This is due to the fact that carpet can trap these germs within its fibers until they are thoroughly cleaned out. This debunks the previous belief that carpet can cause asthma and allergies. These studies show now, that in fact, a clean carpet can improve the quality of indoor air in your house.

How is it possible? The explanation is that carpet can “catch” dust, everyday debris, pet hair, and other pollutants. Smooth floor surfaces such as marble or wood just bounce off allergens and spread them around. Internationally recognized studies of homes, schools, and communities show that less airborne particles were distributed into the breathing zone with carpeted areas than in non-carpeted ones. But the carpet cannot do this itself. To make sure the particles do not get redistributed, homemakers need to vacuum regularly to trap these pollutants and permanently remove them from the room.

Make sure you use a machine that is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) with its Seal of Approval for vacuums, steam cleaners, and other cleaning equipment. This guarantees effective removal and entrapment of the dust and dirt.

When vacuuming, make sure to use slow, repetitive, and overlapping strokes that will effectively extract all the germs from any given area. Give special attention to hard-to-reach areas to make sure that no dust balls or dirt are left in the nooks and crannies. Vacuum machine accessories, such as bags and filters also require their own rules for effective cleaning. So make sure you use them correctly also. For example, vacuum bags should be replaced once they are half-filled.

Also, make sure your cleaning products and solutions are effective and safe to use. The CRI Seal of Approval also applies to these items; so make sure to look for it when shopping for cleaners and other products. Many times products that promote improved air quality are also environmentally friendly. They use ingredients that are non-toxic and safe for houses with children, pets, and people with medical conditions.

Finally, a thorough, professional cleaning, done once a year, is essential to removing all the dirt and debris that can still easily accumulate in your carpet even with routine maintenance. With the right carpet cleaning habits, you can breathe in good air easily.