How Does Flooring Impact Indoor Air Quality?
People today spend a great deal of time indoors, so indoor air quality has become as important as the quality of the air outdoors. Fortunately, in Parkland, Florida, the outdoor air quality is ranked as above average in the United States, which makes it easier to keep your indoor air clean.
But what exactly is indoor air quality, also known as IAQ? It refers to the quality of air within a building of any sort and can affect the health, well-being, and comfort of the people living or working within the building.
You may not have too much say about the quality of air at your workplace, but you can control your indoor air quality at home. Several factors affect the quality of the air in your home, which includes temperature, humidity, emissions, and the presence of airborne allergens. Even the type of flooring you have in your home impacts your indoor air quality.
The Characteristics of Carpeted Flooring
Dust mites, particles, and pet dander do not remain suspended in the air forever. They fall onto horizontal surfaces and settle. With regard to carpeting, these contaminants tend to be trapped within the textile until disturbed in some way.
There are two schools of thought regarding how carpeting impacts the quality of air. Some say that because the allergens are trapped in the carpet, they are more likely to impact the indoor air quality negatively. Each time the carpet is walked on or vacuumed, the dust is stirred up into the air, causing sneezing, wheezing, or worse. These people seem to think that carpeted floors hide the dust and are more hazardous than hard floors. Others contend that because carpets trap the dirt until cleaned, the air is purer because it remains in the carpet and is not airborne.
A cause for concern with carpets is dampness. When they get wet, there is a danger of biological growth, which is not good for indoor air quality.
Everyone agrees that hygiene is the most important thing and that your carpets need to be vacuumed at least three times a week and steam cleaned annually to keep airborne particles to a minimum. One of the benefits of carpeting is that it can be vacuumed without having to use cleaning products that release volatile organic compounds.
What to Look Out For in Hard Flooring
Due to the weather in Florida, the most practical flooring options are vinyl floors, laminate flooring, engineered wood, and porcelain or ceramic tiles. How do these surfaces affect the quality of air inside homes? Hard floors are easier to keep clean through sweeping and mopping, however, each sweep of the broom disturbs the unseen particles, which then become airborne, causing irritation such as itchy eyes, sniffling, or other respiratory issues.
Another thing to look out for with hard flooring (and some carpet glues) are volatile organic compounds, which release potentially harmful chemicals into the air causing possible negative reactions, such as headaches and nausea. The installation of vinyl flooring may emit off-gassing solvents, which will take a toll on your health. Laminate flooring has the possibility of formaldehyde emission, as well as contaminates being released into the air during installation via the cutting process.
Watch what cleaning products you use for hard flooring and opt for natural cleaning materials with fewer volatile organic compounds.
Manage Your Indoor Air Quality
Try to keep the dirt and dust outdoors. Have mats at your entrance where people can wipe their shoes and clean your entrances and hallways daily.
Although it is impossible to eradicate all air pollutants, you can improve the quality of air inside your house. Regularly maintain your HVAC system, or better yet, sign up for a maintenance agreement with a reputable company.
Keep the air in your home clean with the correct indoor air quality products and services. Think about integrating an air purifier with your existing HVAC system or chat with us about the many options open to you. Call HI-VAC Air Conditioning Service at 954-246-4141 for help with your indoor air quality.
Image provided by Shutterstock
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