Is Carpeting An Allergy-Friendly Floor Covering?

The balance between keeping a family healthy and making sensible flooring decisions can be tough if there are members that suffer from allergies and asthma. Carpeting has always been valued for the plush, soft surface provided, but has been pushed back by some in suggesting it can worsen already existing breathing problems. You might be surprised at what the real facts are when it comes to carpeting and the health of you and your family.

Understanding the Cause of Allergies

Nature can be partially blamed for seasonal periods of allergy symptoms, but there are things within the indoor environment that can trigger an undesirable allergic reaction. A few of the airborne particles that can come indoors and cause irritation are:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mold

A few examples of indoor allergens are:

  • Powdered cleaning products
  • Mites
  • Pet dander

Those with specific allergies, asthma, and compromised respiratory systems can suffer tremendously with the introduction of irritants. It can cause symptoms like watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing, bronchitis, or asthma attacks. Installing carpeting has been frowned upon and blamed for increasing allergy symptoms, but is this the case?

Blowing Apart the Myth

It has been a long-held belief that carpeting was not a perfect choice for flooring if anyone in a family experienced asthma or extreme allergies to common household and environmental allergens. There have been numerous scientific studies done, both through the research and development departments of the carpeting industry as well as the National Institutes of Health. The results demonstrate the safety of a well-cared for carpet around anyone with compromised respiratory systems, allergies, and asthma. These findings have helped widen the options for anyone looking at floor covering that is comfortable, durable, and contains natural insulative qualities.

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options

The carpeting industry has opted to answer the challenges of allergens and incorporate scientific advancements to improve carpet fibers. Many major brands now offer hypoallergenic styles that are designed to help trap allergens until they can be removed by routine cleaning. Carpeting is a smart choice for those that live in areas that are prone to attract several types of allergens.

HEPA Filter Vacuuming

Vacuuming carpets using equipment that has HEPA filter technology is an essential way to remove allergens that get drawn down into the carpet fibers and base. The HEPA filtering assists in removing most particles from the air, even the tinier ones that escape standard vacuums. This chore needs to be done every few days on average, but with increased frequency based on carpet use. It is best to vacuum daily during periods of massive air pollen counts, or if anyone in the home is currently experiencing allergy symptoms.

Regular Professional Carpet Cleaning

Vivienne Mahon, Ph.D., of Airmid Healthgroup in Dublin, Ireland reviewed the positive carpet allergen test results obtained in Anaheim, California. She states that these findings “add to an existing body of evidence that indicates that well-maintained and effectively cleaned carpets can contribute to indoor air quality, making them a potential choice for families affected by asthma and allergies.” Although this intense study is from 2012, the results still stand as some of the most comprehensive in demonstrating the abilities of carpet to help keep the air clean of allergens. Routine professional carpet cleaning is a positive way to improve the air you breathe by completely removing trapped allergens from the home.

HVAC Air Filters and Air Purification Systems

Two simple measures you can take to help keep allergens from building up on the carpet is to limit the amount free-floating in the air. Using a quality air filter in your HVAC system will reduce the number of allergens brought into the home through the heating and air conditioning system. These need to be changed at least once at each major season change. Adding a centralized air purification system will also capture many loose allergens moving about in the air you breathe. Clean carpeting can help capture much of the rest.

Take a Closer Look at the Benefits of Carpeting

There is something special about walking barefoot through a room that is carpeted, especially after a long hard day on your feet. You should take a closer look at carpeting options for your next flooring material. There are benefits like:

  • Eliminating the potential for most floor damage caused by moving furnishings.
  • Warmer surface to walk on during the winter
  • Natural insulating qualities for summer and winter
  • Nearly endless selection of vibrant colors and patterns
  • Hypoallergenic carpeting options
  • Effective secondary air filtering abilities when properly cleaned and maintained

Stop in and visit the showrooms of On The Spot Floors in Powhatan to view the full selection of carpeting styles available. Our experts are happy to answer any of your questions. We offer top quality carpeting and installation throughout the entire Richmond area and look forward to assisting you with your purchase today!

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