How Carpet Improves Air Quality And Controls Allergies

Allergies no longer have to prevent you from having carpet!

Not only does carpet add warmth and comfort to any room, it also helps keep the air free of allergens and pollutants when properly vacuumed and maintained. What falls to the carpet – such as allergens, common dust, pet hair and other pollutants – tends to stay on the carpet until it is vacuumed, unlike smooth surfaces that allow these particles to re-circulate.

“Properly maintained carpet actually leads to improved air quality and a healthier indoor environment,” notes David Numark, President of Summit International Flooring.  “This is because a vacuum cleaner locks pollutants in the machine and removes them from the air you breathe.

Therefore, Numark is quite proud of the OBJECT CARPET brand, of which Summit is an exclusive U.S. distribution partner. “OBJECT CARPET is one of the most durable and innovative of all carpeting in the world, as well as one of the most beautiful,” adds Numark.  “It has wonderful residential and commercial applications, and is a prime example of how carpeting improves air quality.”

Some other facts that support the use of carpet to help prevent asthma and limit symptoms caused by allergies:

What to know:

  • There is no scientific study linking the rise of allergy and asthma to the use of carpet. Indeed, several studies actually disprove any correlation.
  • According to Carpet and Flooring Review, a 15-year Swedish study found no link between carpet usage and the incidence of allergy or asthma.  In fact, even when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by 70%, allergy reactions in the general population increased by 30%.
  • Carpet may even be helpful to people with asthma: an 18-nation study of nearly 20,000 people found a statistical relationship between carpeted bedrooms and reduced asthma and allergy symptoms and improved breathing.
  • A 2003 study of more than 4,600 school children in New Jersey found that having carpet in a child’s bedroom was associated with fewer missed school days and less need for asthma medication.

Studies have compared the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities on hard and soft flooring surfaces.  Findings show that walking on hard surfaces disturbed more particles.  These particles became airborne and entered the breathing zone. In contrast, carpeted surfaces trapped more particles so that walking disturbed fewer particles.  The result was less dust in the breathing zone over carpeted floors.

What to do:

Vacuum regularly and thoroughly. It may come as a surprise that something as simple as regular vacuuming can have a big impact on the air you breathe.  When vacuuming, remember to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Use slow, repetitive front-to-back motions in an overlapping sequence. A quick once-over doesn’t do much. Move slightly to the left or to the right every four strokes.
  • Don’t ignore the corners or crevices where dust builds. Use the proper attachments to clean those difficult-to-reach areas.
  • “Top-down” cleaning saves you the step of vacuuming after dusting. Dust blinds, windowsills, and furniture surfaces first and then vacuum away any fallen dust.
  • Remember to remove and replace or empty vacuum bags when they are half to two-thirds full.
  • Professionally clean your carpet every 12 to 18 months. Regular vacuuming removes soil and dust, but periodic professional cleaning is needed to remove embedded dirt.
  • Purchase and install carpet certified with the Green Label or Green Label Plus. These programs make certain that carpet and adhesive products meet the most stringent criteria for low chemical emissions.

“Properly cleaning and maintaining your carpet simply keeps your family, workers, clients, customers and others healthier and in control of any allergies,” concludes Numark.  “And you get a gorgeous carpet, to boot.”