A United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study revealed that carpet actually helps to clean out air in our homes and offices. The carpet acts as a filter, trapping soils, gasses and pollutants such as pet and human dander, pollen, and even air pollution. This is great news since nearly every home in America has wall to wall carpet installed in one or more areas.
Despite this study, some people still believe that carpet is bad for indoor air quality and causes health problems like allergies and asthma. The truth is that properly maintained carpets actually improve indoor air quality. The key to keeping the air in your home healthy is to have a maintenance routine for your carpet.
EPA Guidelines for Cleaning
Periodic professional cleaning is a major part of an effective carpet and air quality maintenance routine, eliminating the contaminants that build up over time. Of course, every household has its own unique combination of factors such as environment, number of occupants, children, pets, and smoking or non-smoking, etc. So how often should you have your carpets cleaned?
Fortunately, the EPA is there to help with some basic guidelines for a total carpet maintenance plan based on the kind of use your carpet receives, as follows:
• In a home with two people who do not smoke, the EPA recommends you have your carpets cleaned every 6-12 months, more often if you have a particularly dusty outside environment or an extremely humid or cold environment.
• If you smoke, the carpets should be cleaned at least every four months.
• If you have kids or pets these numbers cut in half. In fact, a home with 2 adults, a child and pets should be cleaned at least every 3-6 months, but every month if you live in a very contaminated or dusty area.
• Offices and restaurants, nursing homes and daycare centers should be cleaned once a month or even more frequently.
“Wait a minute!” you may say. “It seems a little extreme to clean my carpet that often.” But think about the source of these recommendations. This is the Environmental Protection Agency, created to help assure the health and safety of living things in a variety of environments, including outdoors and inside homes and build-ings. So these recommendations are based on cleaning for health, not simply appearance.
Looking Dirty vs. Being Dirty
Carpet is designed to hide soil, so it can hold a lot of dirt before it begins to look “dirty.” Unseen contaminants build up in the carpet over time to the point where they may have a negative effect on the occupants of the structure, especially those with underdeveloped, sensitive or compromised immune systems. The key is to avoid letting the carpet get to the point where this happens.
Maintaining Your Carpet between Cleanings
Are we saying if you don’t get all of your carpets cleaned according to these EPA guidelines that you and your family will get sick? Not necessarily. These guidelines are just that, a guide. There are things you can do to re-duce the frequency of professional cleaning. First, make sure you vacuum often; the more the better. Also, be prompt about cleaning up spots and spills. Use doormats at all entrances. Don’t wear street shoes in the house. Finally, avoid going barefoot because body oils get on the carpet and attract dirt.
Regardless of how neat and tidy you are, there comes a time when you need professional carpet cleaning. Call Janssen’s to schedule your next cleaning or to help choose a cleaning program that fits your lifestyle. You and your family will breathe easier; your carpets will look better and last longer.