Achoo! What Your Floors Are Doing to Your Allergies
Ever heard the statement that people with asthma should remove their carpets to reduce allergens in their environment? Well, this may not necessarily be true. It would seem logical that carpets can trap and carry more dust, dander, pollen, mites, and other allergens than a hardwood floor. But a recent study suggests that homes with carpets and homes with other flooring are essentially equal in terms of allergen control.
In an article from the Housekeeping Channel, a study (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) on children and families with asthma and allergies is described. The study touched on factors such as flooring type, presence of pets, rats or mice, and if there were any smokers in the home. They targeted an intervention group for families who tested positive on an allergy skin test for three or more factors. These families were provided with HEPA-filter vacuums and educated on removing allergens from the home. After the intervention was complete, a evaluation study was done on these families.
“The study found that children in the intervention group missed fewer days of school, slept through the night more, and made fewer trips to the emergency room. Contrary to researchers’ expectations, children with carpet in their bedrooms improved as much and did just as well as children who had hard surface floors.”
Contrary to what we may believe about carpets holding more allergens than other floor types, this study found “no difference in allergen reduction between homes with carpets and those without carpeting.”
There are a few things we can take from this study. Number one, don’t always believe hear-say about cleaning your home! Number two, using a quality vacuum and replacing the filter when necessary will aid in the reduction of allergens from your home. Hardwood floors need to be swept weekly and mopped at least once a month to prevent allergens securing themselves in between the panels. Using a crevasse cleaner on your vacuum will work best for cleaning edges and underneath cabinets. Finally, number three is to have your child or family member tested for their allergies! You will not know what you need to rid your house of if you do not know what is causing the asthma or sickening allergy.
If you suffer from asthma, definitely look into this study, which was published by the New England Journal of Medicine. You may be changing your mind about tossing those cozy carpets you have in your home!
Do you need help keeping up with monthly house cleaning? Give us a call! We are more than happy to take a tour of your home and give you a free estimate, with no obligation to hire us. We service Lower Bucks County and surrounding areas of PA and NJ. We hope to hear from you! 215.757.4014.
Have a safe and allergen-free day!