This might be a bit of a shock to you, but did you know that the quality of the air inside your home might actually be worse than the outdoor air? For hay fever sufferers currently barricading themselves indoors to escape the dreaded pollen, this isn’t great news, but it is sadly true. All sorts of things in your home, from your TV to your spouse, could be contributing to lower air quality, which in turn could be causing you a lot of problems you haven’t even noticed yet. But don’t worry – you probably have the tools you need to improve your indoor air quality already – your carpets!
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
On average, we spend around 90% of our time indoors – either at home or at work.
Poor air quality is something we don’t think about very much, but it can have a pretty big impact on your general health and wellbeing. As we breathe in low-quality air, our bodies struggle to extract the level of oxygen we need from it, leaving us feeling tired and a little out of breath. General low air quality in the workplace has been known to cause headaches, physical fatigue, sinus infections, respiratory issues and a general lack of concentration, so you will feel tired and fuzzy-headed more often.
Over time, low air quality and common indoor air pollutants like CO2 can cause chronic fatigue, asthma and lung disease, while in the short term you might be experiencing dry eyes, sore throats and catch coughs and colds a lot easier. The problem is, you might not always notice these things, or link them to the quality of your air.
How Does Carpet Help?
All of that sounds very scary, but there is some good news. There are some very simple things you can do to improve the air quality in your home, and one of those things is to get yourself a new carpet! While some people may say carpets can be difficult for people with severe allergies (particularly asthma), overall having carpet in your home actually improves the quality of the air. This is because the fibres of the carpet act as a natural filtration system, trapping in dirt, dust and pollutants and keeping them at ground level – far away from the air you’re breathing. That means all you need to do is make sure you hoover regularly to get rid of the pollutants, and your carpet will keep trapping the nastiness and keeping your air clean.
Best Carpets For Improving Indoor Air Quality
Natural fibres: As a general rule carpet and rugs are great for trapping dirt and dust, but natural fibres have the edge over synthetic ones. Cotton and wool are particularly good choices, while you might want to steer clear of synthetics like polyester or nylon. They not only trap pollutants more effectively, but they are more receptive to things like steam cleaning, which will improve their filtering abilities and keep them cleaner.
Choose Your Fabric Carefully: There are some types of carpet particularly those with high levels of plastics, that can produce something called Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. VOCs are released as the carpet gets older and will start to affect the quality of your air. Not to mention releasing pollutants themselves! Thankfully, most modern carpets contain much lower levels of VOCs than older styles, and you can even buy carpets with the Carpet and Rug Institute’s ‘Green Label’ to be sure your carpet is certified as low-VOC.
Other Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Of course, carpets aren’t the only way you can improve the air quality in your home. You could also try:
- Open your windows so that they provide cross ventilation. This will also reduce moisture and odours that tend to hang around in homes – particularly kitchens and bathrooms.
- Buy some plants. Plants are essentially biological, natural air filters, and have been proven to improve air quality in homes. So the greener your house, the better!
- Clean sheets and sofas regularly. Soft furnishings are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to reduced air quality. Dust settles in deep, and can irritate your nose and throat, leaving you feeling lethargic. So wash the sheets at least once a week, and hoover your soft sofas once a month.
- Use eco-friendly cleaners. A cleaner home is less likely to contain dust and other particles that can lower air quality and irritate allergies. But the things you use to clean your home might be making the problem worse. Harsh cleaning chemicals can leave a residue that hangs around in the air of your home for a long time, reducing air quality and potentially causing you harm. Natural cleaning products will help reduce this.
At Floor24 we are specialists in all types of flooring and carpet, from sisal to traditional nylon weave and everything in between. We can help you choose the perfect carpet to help improve the air quality in your home while still fitting in with your style and your budget, so you never have to compromise again. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us today or drop by our showroom for a free consultation.