If you are among the 35 million Americans who are allergic to dust mites and pet dander, you may already be aware that a good way to limit your exposure is to replace the carpet in your home with hardwood flooring.
A house with wooden floors and rugs will contain only a tenth of the dust that a carpeted house contains. The hard surface of wood floors greatly reduces the accumulation of allergens in your home, compared to carpet, which keeps you and your family members happy and healthy.
Allergens and Irritants
The main irritants that pollute our indoor air quality are allergens and toxic chemicals. Dust mites, pet dander and pesticides constitute the largest portion of irritants that stand between us and optimal wellness.
– Dust mites are tiny spider-like creatures that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They eat exfoliated skin and live in carpet, mattresses, and upholstered furniture. A mite’s life cycle lasts only a few months, transitioning from egg to adult within a matter of weeks. It is their waste products that cause the allergic reactions.
– Pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home. A recent EPA study found that the accumulation of such toxins on hard surface flooring is significantly less than other types of flooring.
– Pet dander is shed from dogs and cats. These allergens are very strong and maintain their potency for months, adhering to walls, clothing and other surfaces, even travelling with people to places where the pets have never been.
Every part of the cleaning regimen that is recommended to properly maintain your hardwood floors is also a crucial step in reducing the allergens in your home. In fact, natural wood oils often have a strongly anti-bacterial action.
– Replacing all carpeting, especially in the bedroom (where you spend one-third of your time) will significantly reduce the available safe-havens for allergens.
– Wood floors do not trap and accumulate concentrations of harmful chemicals and fumes, nor do they become homes for unpleasant parasites.
– Washing rugs with hot water, at least 130°F, will kill dust mites.
– Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to maintain relative humidity at 50% or below is good for your hardwood floors and, makes the environment undesirable for dust mites.
– Cleaning the floors with a microfiber mop, instead of traditional cleaning methods, has been recommended by the EPA as an environmental best practice for healthcare facilities.
The beauty of hardwood floors has long been a favorite of homeowners. Whether you choose the look of pronounced rustic lines or a subtly background blend, the attraction to natural elements is overwhelming.
The stains and finishes available provide a wide array of colors and styles. Each choice can add to the beauty of your home while making it a healthier environment with significantly fewer allergens and irritants. It seems so simple. It’s the natural choice – hardwood flooring.
For more information about how you can be happier and healthier, contact MacDonald Hardwoods.