A survey of carpet cleaning technicians, cleaning professionals and facility managers finds that the majority (43 percent) believe carpeting improves or can help protect indoor air quality. Just under 30 percent disagreed, while the remainder was unsure.
The survey, conducted for U.S. Products, found that more than half (55 percent) of the respondents said that they have "researched information on how carpets may or may not impact IAQ." The rest indicated they had not done any research on the subject. However, 59 percent indicated they already have "adequate information" as to the impact, pro or con, carpets may have on IAQ.
According to Mark Baxter, an engineer with U.S. Products, it is fairly well documented that carpets, because they act like a filter and absorb dust and other impurities, actually help protect IAQ.
“But we also know they do this most effectively if they are properly maintained and kept clean, which usually requires the use of hot-water carpet extractors,” he says.
Finally, the survey asked if the respondents were aware of the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label program, which certifies carpets that have a reduced impact on IAQ, as well as the vacuum cleaners and extractors used to clean carpets. Sixty-two percent said yes, "but a surprisingly high, 38 percent, said no," says Baxter.