What You Breathe Affects Your Health

Indoor air quality has been getting a lot of attention lately.  And, for good reason.  Your health is directly affected by what you breathe.  With the more energy efficient modern construction techniques, indoor air quality is even more problematic.  Construction technology and building codes are better and more stringent than ever.  Modern buildings and homes are tighter with less outside fresh air mixing.  The indoor air quality can quickly become many times worse than outside.  A short and very incomplete list of what indoor air might contain would include:  fingernail filings, food, animal and insect dander, hair, dead insect fragments, pollen, dust, dust mites, soil, fecal, fungi, cotton, wood, or paint chips. And that’s just the “good” stuff.

All this great stuff is at least a little bit heavier than air and so you’ll see it either floating around before it settles or afterward as dust thick enough to sign your name to.  Of course it settles everywhere, so a bunch of it will settle onto the biggest piece of furniture in your house – your carpet.  At first thought, you might want to rip your carpet out and replace it with tile.  Like a lot of first reactions, that would be wrong.  Carpet acts like a big air filter by “capturing” and “holding” those dead skin cells and insect parts until the next extraction.  That’s industry jargon for carpet cleaning.  After they settle on tile, they’ll just sit there waiting for you to walk by so they can ride the Bonsai pipeline of your wake like so many micro airborne surfers.  The biggest problem with airborne dust, dander, and dead bugs is the allergic consequences.  There are millions of us out there.  Fully 10% of the population suffers from at least seasonal allergies.  We all know the symptoms: itchy and watery eyes, irritated throat, sniffles, congestion, and wheezing.  It may even lead to asthma which is very bad especially for kids.  Despite what you might be thinking, it’s not hopeless.

In addition to vacuuming your furniture, you’ll want to hit that carpet.  So vacuum weekly or more in high traffic/pet areas and professionally deep clean at least annually.  Be sure to look for Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label approved equipment and vendors.  They certify through empirical methods that the equipment and procedures used by Green Label approved professionals are both the most effective and best for you and your family.

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