Over the years, a pervasive myth has emerged that links asthma and allergy symptoms to indoor carpeting. The idea is that carpeting, as opposed to other times of flooring like laminate and hardwood, traps allergens like dust and pet dander, thereby aggravating allergy symptoms. In fact, however, recent studies have demonstrated that carpeting can actually alleviate allergy symptoms.
According to United Allergy Services, a 15-year Swedish study identified no link between carpet and increases in allergy and asthma symptoms. Rather, researchers found that “when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by 70 percent, allergy reactions in the general population increased by 30 percent.” Based on their findings, the researchers determined that carpeting actually acts as a sort of filter, keeping allergens in the weave and out of the air you breathe. That said, United Allergy Services does provide a few additional tips for making your carpet as allergy-friendly as possible.
Just like the air filter in your furnace, a carpet can only hold so many allergens before it becomes saturated and ineffective. Vacuuming once a week will limit the allergen concentration in your carpet so that it can continue to filter the air in your home.
Keep Dirt Out
Vacuuming will remove existing grit and grime, but the best way to keep your carpet clean is to limit dirt intrusion right from the start. If you don’t have a mudroom, keep a rubber mat or rack by your entryway for shoes. If you have children, get them in the habit of taking their shoes off as soon as they walk in the door.
Deep Clean Periodically
Once a year, rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional to give your carpet a good thorough cleaning. This will remove deeply set-in allergens that an ordinary vacuum can’t reach.
And there you have it! With proper care and maintenance, carpeting can actually be great for people with allergies and asthma.