indoor air quality

The Surprising Way to Boost Your Family’s Health This Year (Hint: Look down!)

Eating right, exercising, seeing the doctor… these are the things that immediately come to mind when it comes to taking care of your health. If you’re particularly health conscious, you may even think about toxins and other harmful things in the food you eat and the products you use.  But what is often forgotten is the air around you. Not just outside, but the air where you spend much of your time – your home.

Typically, air filters, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers are the go-to methods for addressing the air quality inside of your home. However, many homeowners fail to do one thing when considering home air quality: look down! The floors are a big contributor to the overall health of your home and the people in it.

For the most part, we buy carpet and rugs for their visual appeal, and perhaps the comfort or noise reduction aspect. But what you may not know is that they also act as filters. Allergens, dust, and potentially harmful germs and bacteria enter your home through open windows and dirt and debris that’s tracked in from outside. These particles settle into the fibers and affect the quality of your indoor air.

At first blush, it sounds like having a rug or carpeting might not be the best idea. But, if you treat them right, homes with carpets and rugs can have very healthy indoor air. In fact, many studies show that those with allergies report improvements in their symptoms after installing carpet. Instead of allergens circulating in the air, they’re able to be thoroughly vacuumed up and removed via deep cleaning.

The key to keeping your indoor air quality as high as possible is maintenance. Much like a filter, whatever is captured must be removed. While vacuuming can help remove some of these particles, much of it is deep below the surface and not visible to the naked eye. In fact, if your rug or carpet is visibly dirty, it’s quite possible the particles have already been affecting your indoor air quality. So what can you do?

Get professional deep cleanings 

Your carpet and rugs should be cleaned professionally approximately once per year, depending on the usage (6-18 months).  This process extracts deeply embedded dirt and particles that regular vacuuming can’t reach (learn more about the process here). When seeking out a professional cleaning service, be sure to ask questions about their process and experience and check customer reviews. Many times discount cleaners are not using the proper equipment and process, which means the cleaning is not effective and can even damage your carpet and rugs.

Vacuum consistently

Vacuuming alone isn’t enough to keep your carpets and rugs pristine, but it will help tremendously between deep cleanings. Be sure you have a high-quality vacuum and are using proper technique. High traffic areas should be vacuumed at least a few times a week and areas that aren’t as used should be vacuumed once per week.

Limit dirt entering your home whenever possible

If you already ask visitors to take off their shoes before entering your home, pat yourself on the back! Not only does this cut down on stains, but it will also help prevent some of dirt and grime from lodging into your carpet and rugs. A doormat is the next best option, and being mindful of children and pets is also important. They may be cute, but they can sometimes track in some unpleasant things.

Don’t forget other soft surfaces

Your upholstered furniture and draperies can also build up microscopic allergens quickly and need to be cleaned regularly. The good news? These can also be deep cleaned similarly to how your carpets and rugs are cleaned.

Keeping your indoor air quality as high as possible doesn’t take much extra effort. Scheduling professional cleanings (here at Master Cleaners we remind clients when it’s time to get soft surfaces cleaned), vacuuming regularly and practicing some prevention can make a big difference. Here’s to your health!