If you suffer from seasonal allergies, characterized by sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, your dirty carpets and ductwork could be a major culprit. You’re not alone: more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, which also happens to be the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in this country, says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
An allergy is when your immune system reacts to an allergen, or foreign substance. Often times, this is something you have inhaled into your lungs, which leads to coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat and runny nose. In the more severe cases, it causes hives, rashes, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties, asthma attacks and even death.
Many allergens are in the air we breathe. The ductwork throughout our homes can be a breeding ground for dust mites, dirt and debris, made worse by the constant circulation of that air throughout the house. Those allergens also get stuck in the carpet, which happens to be the largest filter of allergens ranging from dust mites to mold to pet dander. Air duct cleaning and carpet cleaning can help your symptoms immensely.
Acting essentially as the lungs of the home, your air ducts have a very important job, pushing hot and cold air through vents to increase occupants’ comfort. But many allergens hitch along for the ride, dispersing throughout your home and making you sick. For those prone to allergies or asthma, getting ductwork cleaned regularly can make all the difference.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests having the air ducts cleaned if:
- You see mold inside sheet metal ducts or on other parts of your heating and cooling system.
- Your ducts have been infested with vermin such as rodents or insects.
- Your ducts are clogged with large amounts of dust and debris which are being released into the home via the supply registers.
- You notice visual clues, like signs of mold and excessive dust around air vents.
- Your home is more than 10 years old and the ducts have never been cleaned.
- You notice allergy symptoms when you turn on your heating and cooling system.
- You have asthma that’s not well controlled despite taking medicine.
If you have carpeting throughout your home, you have an extra challenge on your hands when it comes to cleaning. But all the vacuuming in the world can’t get all the allergens out of your carpet. This means carpet can harbor dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, ground in dirt and other irritating substances for years. Meanwhile, you’re breathing those in every single day.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, where they are consistently exposed to airborne particles and indoor allergens that may result in respiratory symptoms. Dirty carpets can contribute to that poor indoor air quality.
If you suffer from allergies, you need to be diligent in caring for your carpet. That includes:
- Vacuuming at least once a week, with a vacuum featuring a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Reducing the humidity levels in your home so mold and dust mites cannot get out of control.
- Steam clean your carpets several times a year. Note: not all carpet cleaners use true steam cleaning methods. 1st Class Carpet does. Water must be applied at a constant 200 degrees Fahrenheit and provide a consistent suction to be effective.
- Keep windows closed during allergy season and on days where the pollen levels are very high.
- Wash throw rugs in hot water on a regular basis.
- Deep clean other soft fabrics in your home, including upholstery and drapery.
- Install an air-filtration system that features a HEPA filter.
Contact 1st Class Carpet Cleaning & Restoration Services
To learn more about how our carpet cleaning and duct cleaning services can help alleviate your allergies, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (248) 491-3088.