Carpet has gathered a reputation, fueled by false data and information. So is any of it true? Does this beloved flooring cause more problems than brings solutions? We will look into a few assumptions and prove that many of them are completely false. Carpeting is a very good option for your home flooring that can benefit the whole family, from allergy sufferers to the elderly and to the young.   What benefits can carpet and rugs bring to your home Carpet is soft and comfortable. When was the last time you wanted to curl up on a nice hard floor? Only carpet and rugs can give you that comfort.   Carpet and area rugs naturally absorb sound, making for smoother acoustics throughout your home or in your favorite room.   For those who think green and are energy conservationist or just want to save money carpet provides actual thermal resistance (R-value) – meaning when it’s cold, it retains warmth longer, and when it is hot, it retains cool air longer.   Carpet and area rugs help to reduce allergy ailments. The reason why carpet appears to get dirtier than other floors is because they do. Carpet and area rugs are naturally magnetic to dust, pollen, allergens and airborne toxins pulling these tiny particles down and holding them in its fibrous body. No other flooring has the amazing ability to clean and improve the air in your home than carpet. So the trade off is, that you breathe cleaner, healthier air and that, must have positive affects on your health. Carpet comes in more color and pattern combinations than all other flooring combined. Carpet can bring the right kind of styling to a room or an entire home. A well place area rug can make a room pop. Carpet is safe and impact absorbent. Walking on carpet has a lower impact factor on your back and joints than other hard floors. While any fall can be painful falling or slipping on carpet is naturally less painful than all it’s hard floor counterparts.     Allergy and asthma carpet studies A 15-year Swedish study found no link between carpet and allergy and asthma attacks. In fact, when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by 70 percent, allergy reactions in the general population increased by 30 percent. In 2003, a study of school children in New Jersey found that having carpet in a child’s bedroom was associated with fewer missed school days and less need for asthma medication. These are just two of many studies showing no correlation between carpet and allergies or asthma. How carpet helps asthma and allergy sufferers So if carpet isn’t contributing to allergy and asthma problems, how is it helping those with the conditions? Carpet acts much like a filter, trapping allergens and keeping them out of the air you and your family breathe. These trapped allergens, such as pollen, pet dander and dust, can then easily be removed through proper cleaning techniques. Think of your carpet like you would a sweater in your wardrobe. If you wear a sweater, it eventually gets dirty and needs to be washed. Your carpet is walked on by people and pets frequently, and much like a sweater, needs to get cleaned regularly to look its best and last a long time. To keep your carpet in great shape, reduce allergens and retain good indoor air quality, consider these tips from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI):
  1. Vacuum regularly How often do you really need to vacuum? High-traffic or pet areas should be vacuumed daily, medium-traffic areas need to be vacuumed about twice a week and light-traffic areas should be vacuumed weekly.  Use a CRI-certified vacuum for optimum soil removal, dust containment and to avoid damage to your carpet.
  2. Limit dirt intrusion Keeping as much dirt and grime off the carpet as possible is ideal. Be proactive and put out a durable entrance mat for people to wipe off their feet before entering your home. Then require everyone to take off their shoes so less dirt is tracked inside.
  3. Deep clean Once a year your carpet should be cleaned by hot water extraction by a professional. This process extracts deeply embedded dirt that regular vacuuming can’t reach.
If you suffer from particularly bad allergies, consider cleaning your upholstered furniture, draperies and blinds also. Like carpet, these also need regular cleaning.  Drapes and blinds can build up microscopic allergens quickly from open windows. Vacuum and wash regularly and consider hiring a professional cleaner once a year or as needed. Carpet provides many benefits for many different people, including those with allergies. So before you spend a lot of money taking out your home’s carpet, remember why you chose it in the first place. Then take the proper steps to clean it so it complements your home for many years to come.