Can Cleaning Your Carpets Improve the Air Quality in Your Home?

Carpeting can instantly transform a house into a home. Its rich, lush feel adds a level of warmth and comfort that basic flooring just can’t match. But carpets get dirty… really dirty. No one wants to think about all the gunk their carpet probably contains, but the truth is carpet acts as a giant filter for the entire house. While regular air filter replacement is a requirement for most people, the need to replace your carpeting can easily be avoided or extended if you simply clean it regularly by scheduling an annual or bi-annual appointment with your Michigan carpet cleaning specialist. But can cleaning your carpets really improve the air quality in your home? 

How Much of Your Life Do You Spend Indoors?

If you’re like the typical American, you probably don’t waste much time thinking about how much of your life is spent inside the comfort of your home. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has. According to their studies, the average American spends 87% of their life inside a building–whether that’s home, school, or work–and another 6% of their life inside their vehicle. That leaves only 7% of your life spent outdoors. And according to the Indoor Air Study, some pollution concentrations are two to five times (200-500%) higher indoors than outdoors. Why is this the case and what can you do about it?

What’s Wrong with Your Indoor Air?

So many people assume outdoor pollution is so horrible that they retreat inside. But the simple truth is, the more space those pollutants have to spread, the less concentrated the emissions end up being. Your home is your castle, but it’s enclosed. Regardless of how much you clean, no one can remove all contaminants from their indoor air. While carpet can trap many pollutants, once the material is walked over, the contaminants release right back into the air. So you’re essentially breathing in those pollutants 87% of your life. That leads to allergies, viral infections, migraines, and various other health issues that can be minimized with clean carpet. Indoor pollutants can come from multiple sources including:

  • Outdoor sources – pollen, dust, road particles, dirt, lawn and garden equipment, pesticides
  • Building equipment – HVAC and non-HVAC equipment, relevant emissions and debris
  • Furnishings – materials containing mold growth, sewer gas emissions, asbestos, VOCs
  • Other indoor materials – art supplies, dry erase markers, trash and emissions, adhesives, personal products, stored gasoline, insects

Isn’t Vacuuming Enough?    

According to the American Lung Association, carpet should be vacuumed at least 3 times per week with a with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtered vacuum cleaner. That will remove most surface contaminants. But realize that’s nowhere near enough for a thorough clean in most cases. Dirt, debris, food particles, dust mites, insects, mold spores, lead, allergens, and pesticides all settle and bury deep inside carpet fibers. Many contaminants even settle into the padding. Once the carpet is walked on or disturbed, even after regular vacuuming, those particles release into the air, stick to clothing, and travel throughout the house. While vacuuming alone will never remove the deepest dirt, professional Michigan carpet cleaning can. When you’re ready to take control of your health and experience the joys of truly clean carpet, give us a call.