Indoor air quality is important both at home and at the workplace. The air you breathe in has a direct impact on your health. It could mean the difference between a healthy life and one full of allergies, infections and hospital visits. At the workplace, employees sit in enclosed spaces all day. If the air they are breathing is affected, there is likely to be a negative impact on the employees’ health and subsequently their productivity. There are many factors that influence the quality of indoor air, and these primarily have to do with the indoor surfaces. Think walls, floors and ceilings.
There are various ways to look at how carpets influence indoor air quality.
Most new products emit volatile organic chemicals, abbreviated as VOCs. What this means, in simple language is that new carpets pose potential air quality concerns right away by virtue of the materials they are manufactured with. Coupled with the materials used for installation, such as glue, new carpets can release irritants into the air. It is advisable that you give newly carpeted spaces time for fresh air circulation to resume. A practical thing to do is ensure windows are left open to allow fresh air to flow in. Investing in good quality air conditioning will also do the trick.
Studies have however shown that new carpets emit the lowest levels of VOCs compared to substances such as a new coat of paint on your walls for instance. In fact, it has been shown that the emissions from new carpets tend to dissipate within 48 to 72 hours of installation. It might therefore be a good move to give this window period after carpet installation before you move in.
Old carpets are great places for allergens to lurk. After years of use, old carpets tend to have bacteria, dirt, dust, dust mites and numerous other organisms hiding in the fibers. When these are unsettled during vacuuming, the end result is that the indoor air quality gets compromised. Chemicals used to clean old carpets can also negatively impact the quality of indoor air. If you have old carpets in your home or business premises, it might be necessary to invest in an air purification system. You also should hire a carpet cleaner that does not use harsh chemicals like Ace Chem-Dry in Fort Collins, CO.
It is also important to note that vacuuming an old carpet might be doing more harm than good to your household. A thorough cleaning every season or at least once a year will be more helpful than the occasional vacuum.
As carpets are a necessary part of living, the best way to handle their impact on air quality is to take preventative measures. If your carpet is brand new, give it time to stop releasing the VOCs. If your carpet is older, don’t allow allergens to fester in the fibers. Clean it thoroughly and regularly. Don’t just rely on vacuuming. And lastly, pay attention to the signals your body sends when something is wrong. If your allergies are starting to act up, take this as a sign that your carpet is compromising your indoor air quality and do something about it.