carpets cause allergies
Carpets are a popular choice for flooring in many Redmond-Woodinville households due to their aesthetic appeal and the warmth and comfort they provide. However, some people are concerned that carpets may cause allergies. In this post, we will examine whether carpets can cause allergies, and if so, what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

What are allergies?
Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a substance that is usually harmless. When the immune system encounters an allergen, it produces antibodies that cause the release of histamine and other chemicals, which can lead to symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, and swelling. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander.

Can carpets cause allergies?
Carpets can act as a reservoir for allergens, such as dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander, which can accumulate in the fibers over time. When people walk or vacuum over the carpet, these allergens can be released into the air, causing allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Dust mites are one of the most common allergens found in carpets. These tiny creatures feed on dead skin cells and thrive in warm, humid environments, such as carpets. Dust mites produce waste products that can trigger allergies in some people. Additionally, mold can grow in damp carpets, releasing spores into the air that can cause respiratory problems.

carpet allergies
(Dust mites. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus dust mites. Dust mites have an unsegmented, round bodies with mouthparts that are highly adapted to feeding on the dead scales of human skin found in household dust. They have eight legs and are relatives of spiders and scorpions. They are smaller than full stops and therefore invisible to the naked eye. Millions of dust mites live inside furniture and fabric in the average home. The dead bodies and excrement of dust mites can cause allergic reactions to household dust. Magnification: x100 when printed 10 centimetres wide.)

Pet dander, another common allergen found in carpets, is composed of tiny particles of skin and hair shed by animals. These particles can become embedded in carpet fibers and become airborne when disturbed.

Steps to reduce the risk of allergic reactions:
There are several steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of allergic reactions from carpets:

Regular cleaning: Regular vacuuming with a HEPA filter can help remove dust, pollen, and pet dander from carpets. It is recommended to vacuum at least once a week, or more frequently in high-traffic areas.

Deep cleaning: Deep cleaning, such as carpet cleaning, can help remove allergens that have become embedded in carpet fibers. It is recommended to deep clean carpets at least once a year, or more frequently in households with pets or allergies. Unfortunately common steam carpet cleaning processes don’t kill dust mites. To kill dust mites with hot water requires boiling for one minute.  A quick millisecond spray of water which is immediately extracted doesn’t kill anything, bacteria, germs and viruses included. The oxygen powered carpet cleaning used by Complete Carpet Care does kill the dust mites, germs, bacteria and viruses.

Reduce humidity: Dust mites and mold thrive in humid environments, so reducing indoor humidity can help prevent their growth. Keeping indoor humidity levels below 50% can help control allergen levels.

Use area rugs: Using area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting can reduce the amount of allergens in a room. Area rugs can be removed and cleaned more easily than wall-to-wall carpeting.

Furnace filters: It’s important to regularly change your furnace filters (typically every 3 months) to ensure your home’s air is being cleaned.  Use the higher quality filters to collect more allergens out of the air.

Air purifier: Air purifiers filter the air thoroughly using carbon and Hepa filters to remove odors and allergens out of the air in your home.

In conclusion, carpets can act as a reservoir for allergens and can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. However, by taking the steps outlined above, such as regular cleaning and reducing humidity, it is possible to reduce the risk of allergic reactions from carpets.