ITHACA/ELMIRA carpet cleaners

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Indoor air quality is a very important environmental consideration, especially since the majority of us spend a majority of our time in an indoor environment.

Taking a deep breath of air, especially outdoors after a thunderstorm or when the air is crisp and clean, smells and feels good. It’s refreshing. But taking a deep breath of air inside, such as in a home or commercial building, can be a different matter altogether.

When indoor air quality is poor, there can be issues for many people, especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses, among others. The list can be quite extensive. 

POOR INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Poor indoor air quality doesn’t mean just 'stuffy' air, the type that can build up in a home that doesn’t have sufficient air exchanges during the day. Although that can contribute to poor health for some individuals, what really causes health concerns is excessive dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other pollutants.

More often than not, families of today have both parents working, meaning less time spent cleaning in the home. Tobacco smoke, radon, cooking odors, and bad air drawn in from outside are all factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

During times of renovating or redecorating, products such as cabinetry, paints, varnishes wood finishes, caulking, adhesives, etc. can also cause poor indoor air quality. Even everyday cleaning materials, building materials, ducts transmitting heat and air conditioning, as well as our pets and our general furnishings all affect the indoor air quality of our homes and other buildings.

CAN THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY BE CONTROLLED?

Yes. The indoor air quality in a home can be controlled to some degree. Keeping things clean is first and foremost. Second, avoid cleaning products and interior furnishings that emit high volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

These chemical compounds are widely used as ingredients in household products, such as paints, varnishes, and waxes, as well as many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. All of these products can release VOCs while they are being used and, to some degree, when they are stored. Many of them can cause short and long term adverse health effects. Additionally, concentrations of many VOCs can be up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors, making it prudent to have proper ventilation in the home at all times.

WHAT ABOUT VOC EMISSIONS and ODORS FROM WALL-TO-WALL CARPET?

As far as VOC emissions go, scientific studies have shown new wall-to-wall carpet is one of the lowest emitters of these chemical compounds and they dissipate very quickly. There have been no links of adverse human health effects to the VOC emissions from carpet.

After a carpet installation, the emission levels of VOCS will drop significantly within the first 24 hours and if fresh air is vented into the environment, the level will dissipate to one that is undetectable within 48 to 72 hours. This is true whether the carpet has natural or synthetic fibers.

When there is an odor from carpet, it is usually a harmless byproduct of the latex used to hold the fibers and the backing together. It will dissipate within a few days. This latex is not a natural latex. It is made from compounds different from latex so an allergy to natural latex does not mean you cannot have wall-to-wall carpet in your home.

 WHAT ABOUT FORMALDEHYDE and CARPET MANUFACTURE?

It is possible to find formaldehyde in very old carpet or in household textiles that may have absorbed formaldehyde from other environmental sources. Formaldehyde is not used in the carpet manufacturing process in the United States.

CARPET AS AN AIR FILTER ACTUALLY IMPROVES INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Wall-to-wall carpet acts as a sink or filter for many allergens, catching and holding them until they are vacuumed out and/or professionally cleaned.

Although allergens such as dust, pollen, and mold may be present in a carpet, the carpet is not normally a source of airborne allergens that produce allergic reactions unless it becomes saturated from lack of proper cleaning and can no longer hold those allergens.

If wall-to-wall carpet is removed from an area, the allergens can then easily become airborne.

THE CARPET and RUG INSTITUTE (CRI)

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) offers extensive consumer, media, and technical information about carpet and rugs and is the national trade association representing the majority of the carpet and rug manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials and services to the industry.

When purchasing new carpet and pad, look for those products that display the CRI’s testing labels:

  • The Green Label Plus program is for carpet, pads, and adhesives. This label ensures these products have been tested and meet the low VOC emissions criteria. The Green Label Plus program exceeds the green building requirements of the California schools and the American Lung Association approves of its use in its Healthy Homes programs.
CRI Green Label PlusCRI Green Label Plus
  • The Seal of Approval program certifies superior carpet cleaning products, equipment, and service providers.
CRI Seal of ApprovalCRI Seal of Approval

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME and CARPET ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

Here are some ways to control indoor air quality and keep your home and carpet environmentally friendly:

  • Remove dust and soil often from all surfaces.
  • When dusting surfaces such as shelves or countertops, use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth that will hold the dust instead of pushing it off onto the floor.
  • Make sure to change the furnace and air conditioning filters on a regular basis.
  • Vacuum wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs, and furniture weekly, more often in a busy household.
  • Use a quality vacuum with strong air flow, adjustable brushes, and an enclosed high-efficiency filtration bag. Change the disposable bag regularly or clean the permanent one and check for worn belts.
  • Clean hard floor surfaces regularly as dust can easily build up and become airborne from those surfaces.
  • Clean spots and spills promptly to avoid permanent stains.
  • Have carpet cleaned professionally with hot water extraction at least every 12 months. When cleaning, it is most important that all of the moisture, cleaning agent, and soil be extracted from the carpet. Ensure the carpet is completely dry within 12 hours to discourage fungal growth.

  • Place door mats or rugs at the entrances of your home. This will help prevent tracked-in dirt and contaminants from coming in.

HOW ABC CAN HELP...

Our carpet cleaning uses the most thorough hot water extraction process available. If it has been more than a year since you had your wall-to-wall carpets and upholstered furniture cleaned, please give us a call at 607-272-1566.

For more information about carpet cleaning in general and our carpet cleaning procedures in particular, please continue reading here.


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ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.
130 Cecil Malone Drive Ithaca, NY 14850

607-272-1566

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