Ah, what more wonderful season is there than springtime? The air is warm, the grass is green, the birds are chirping – and the allergens are flying.
Because of how harsh this past winter was, weather forecasters are predicting higher-than-normal levels of pollen in the air this spring. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, then you are probably hiding indoors instead of enjoying the gorgeous spring weather, or at the very least popping pills left and right to keep those sneezes under control.
But what about indoor allergens? How can you best protect yourself and your family from the dust and mold and other allergens that accumulate inside?
Believe it or not, one way is to invest in the right area rugs.
Rugs vs. Carpet
The Mayo Clinic recommends that allergy sufferers get rid of any wall-to-wall carpeting they may have in their homes, and replace it with hard floors and area rugs. Why? Because carpets can’t be removed regularly to be washed or dried.
While both carpets and area rugs can be vacuumed, only area rugs can be removed, washed – either at home or by a professional, depending on the material – and thoroughly dried before being put back in place. Carpets can be steam cleaned, but the slight dampness that remains afterwards is more than enough to jumpstart mold growth.
Rugs As Filters
But that is not the only reason why area rugs are beneficial for allergy sufferers. Rugs can actually help in your fight against pollen! Putting small area rugs near doors and windows can help to catch pollen as it comes inside. The fibers of a rug filter the air and trap particles that would otherwise float around freely. Then all you have to do is vacuum the rugs – preferably with a vacuum that utilizes a HEPA filter – to get rid of those pesky allergens.
If the thought of trapping allergens in your rug doesn’t appeal to you, then there are plenty of rugs that not only do not trap them – they actually repel them! Rugs made of natural fibers, such as seagrass, sisal, or jute, have no long fibers to trap pollen. In addition, their natural plant fibers are water resistant, so they are not prone to growing mold or mildew. On the synthetic side, nylon and polypropylene are also both water resistant, which makes them mold and mildew resistant, as well.
One other rug material that can be helpful to allergy sufferers is wool. Wool does attract floating allergen particles in the home, but it has some unique qualities all its own, as well. As a natural fiber, wool has the ability to attract and neutralize air pollutants such as formaldehyde and noxious oxides. And wool rugs also naturally resist the growth of dust mites and microbes.
So if allergies are getting your family down this spring, why not get a few new area rugs? They’ll freshen up your home’s look, and your home’s air quality, as well!