Q: Does getting my carpet cleaned improve my indoor air quality?
A: What is indoor air quality (IAQ)? It’s a term referring to air quality within homes and buildings as it relates to the health of occupants. It’s affected by things like microbial contaminants (mould, bacteria), micro-particulates of soils (household dust) and other organic pollutants such as pet dander, tobacco smoke, dust mite feces and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Micro-particulates of soils, organic pollutants and VOCs that are in the air eventually cling to all surfaces as well as carpets. Carpets need to be periodically cleaned; however, in the short term, by holding onto the soils/pollutants, carpets keep them from being airborne, which minimizes the amounts floating in the air. Unless a carpet is at soil saturation, it acts as a sink for dirt, keeping particles from floating in the air and adversely affecting your IAQ. So, IAQ is not significantly improved by carpet cleaning. The greatest improvement occurs when there is regular sweeping, dusting and washing of all surfaces, not just vacuuming and cleaning of carpets. Carpet cleaning is just a small part of improving IAQ.
Other ways to improve IAQ are to 1) ensure sufficient air exchange, frequently replacing stale air with fresh, and 2) use furnace filters of a minimum 1200 MPR rating (Micro Particle Performance) or 12 MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). Contrary to what you see advertised, there is no evidence that cleaning your furnace ducts significantly improves IAQ. Visit our website at www.mancusocleaning.com for more factual information on this topic.