First of all, let me explain a clear industry FACT - hard floors ARE actually worse for your allergies (oh yes they are!) and today we are talking about dust mites which affect thousands if not millions of asthmatics in the UK alone.
How can allergies be worse you might say? Well despite an overwhelming amount of websites and even TV programmes explaining that carpets are worse...and to get rid of them and replace them with hard floors - it is actually unfounded and factually incorrect. But once the ball starts rolling - well, it all goes round and round and is essentially unstoppable. It only takes one misconception that is said by a celebrity on TV or from an old wives tale, and before long it's everywhere - so it must be true right? Well actually no it isn't.
So how does an allergen react with a human? Well with the dustmite it is in most cases the faeces that causes the reaction and not the actual mite itself. The faeces (and the mite) is so small it cannot be seen with the human eye and can only be seen with a microscope. Because they are so small (and light) they become airborne very very easily, and enter what we call 'the breathing zone'.
Let's think about it logically
A carpet that is kept clean and vacuumed regularly has fibres that 'traps' these allergen particles - ready for them to be safely vacuumed away (best by using a hepa filtration vacuum cleaner) and not allowing them in to the breathing zone where they can do the damage.
On a hard floor a mite simply gets blown all over the place - easily done by simply walking about and opening doors. The gentle gusts easily flick them up in to the breathing zone and thus affecting the person with the allergy. Now don't get me wrong, if a carpet is left to hold lots of dust through lack of maintenance then the 'filter' doesn't work properly and dustmites can make your allergies worse. But the same can be said if a hard floor isn't maintained - but the allergic reaction from the hard floor would be so much worse.
Doesn't that sound like common sense?
Of course it does, because it's correct and now you've read it you are possibly nodding your head in agreement as it is pretty much obvious. To back this up there have been studies to prove it beyond doubt - but for some reason there seems to be a lack of confirmation in the UK, perhaps being swayed by the massive misconception that overwhelms and sways industry trends? Despite this apparent uninterest, conclusive evidence is certainly available HERE with an even more in depth study HERE, you can then make your own mind up! There is also a great website HERE with more information.
So how can you ensure that your carpet is working correctly like a 'filter' to 'trap' these particles?
Well it's very simple really. Regular vacuuming is the key to removing particles and dust build up - before the carpet 'filter' becomes full. The best vacuum to use is one that has a rotating brush bar to get to the base of the pile, as opposed to a slotted plastic slot on the end of a tub vacuum cleaner. Getting them professionally cleaned also keeps them healthily clean and prolongs the life too, aswell as improving the appearance.
So before you rip up your carpets in the belief that hard floors will improve your allergies - think again, as they could actually make them worse than they were before.
Author: Kevin Loomes