Healthy Carpet, Healthy Home
When it comes to making our homes attractive and comfortable, most would agree that nothing can transform the look of a room faster than adding a new rug or carpet. Carpets and area rugs help our homes stay warm in the winter and spare us from the pitter-patter of noisy little feet.
You only have to empty the vacuum canister once to realize just how much dirt a carpet or rug can be harboring. Not to mention the unseen, uninvited guests we tend to carry into our homes, like car exhaust particles, peticides and other unhealthy chemicals.
Three Words: Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are gases that can come from solids or liquids and can cause short or long term health problems. A wide range of products emit VOCs. In fact, there are literally thousands of products in your home that could be emitting VOCs. Paint and lacquers, cleaning supplies, building materials, furniture and yes...that lovely new carpet can all be sources of VOCs.
Synthetic carpets are often installed using glues that area high in VOCs and many are treated with chemicals like stain protectors and fire retardants.
Simple Steps to a Healthier Home
The Environmental Protection Agency tells us that, regardless of whether you live in the country or city, air pollution can be 2 to 5 times higher inside the home than ourdoors.
Luckily, there are some very simple steps to keeping VOCs down and your home and carpets healthier:
- Take off those shoes: Most of us don't realize the amount of chemical residue that we can bring into our homes.
- Vow to vacuum more often: Consider investing on a HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air filter vacuum. Older vacuums tend to blow some of the dust from your rug or carpet around your home.
- Open the windows: Airing out your home regularly will keep off-gassing concerns to a minimum. If your home has an air ventilation system, you should keep it running for at least 48 hours after any new carpet installation.
Become a VOC Vigilante
If you really want to lower VOC emissions in your home and you are getting a new carpet, ask the installer to air the carpet out before bringing it in your home. Plan to leave the house for several hours after it's been installed and ventilate your home during and after installation, Instead of using VOC emitting glue, ask the carpet installers to tack down the carpet.
A true VOC vigilante will want to use carpet or rug made from sustainable and natural materials. Sisal rugs and bamboo rugs are all examples of healthy carpet choices. Other excellent alternatives to synthetic carpeting are jute rugs and seagrass area rugs. Look for area rugs that have natural jute or latex backing.
Natural Area Rugs has many eco-friendly area rugs available, with all-natural cotton binding. Switching to low VOC products and purchasing your next area rug or carpet from NaturalAreaRugs.com are sure-fire ways to a healthy carpet, healthy home.