Reducing Allergens in the Home
The key to good results in carpet cleaning is in the preliminary extraction of dry soiling. Without this, the final results will be poor. To achieve this we use a pile brush to separate the pile then follow up with a commercial quality vacuum cleaner to remove much of the dry soiling. In amongst this dry soiling are allergens and if they are exhausted back into the atmosphere of the building then people whose immune systems are pre-disposed to respond to these substances will have a reaction.
The substance itself may not be harmful, but the reaction to it may cause symptoms which can range from minor irritation to, in some cases, extreme disability and even death. These substances are referred to as “allergens”, and typical reactions include sneezing, wheezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, a tight chest, coughing, shortness of breath, and skin rashes. Allergies are widespread in the United Kingdom, affecting approximately one in four of the population at some time in their lives. Each year the number increases by 5%, with as many as half of all those being affected being children.
Indoor air quality is often as much as 20 times more polluted than the air outside, making the home a key battleground in the control of allergies. Reducing allergen exposure in the home is essential to the successful management of an allergy. Common sources of allergens in the home are the house dust mite, pets such as cats and dogs, household chemicals, plant pollen, mould spores and tobacco smoke. One way of reducing these allergens is to have your carpets commercially wet cleaned at least annually and routinely vacuumed in between with a good quality vacuum cleaner that is emptied regularly making sure that the filters are replaced or cleaned when dirty. The vacuum cleaners we use come with hospital standard filtration that removes a minimum of 99.97% of particles of 0.3 microns and removes 100% of particles of 1 micron and above. Dust mite faeces are approx. 10 microns.
Regular vacuuming of floors, furniture, curtains and mattresses is important in reducing dust mite allergen, as this will help remove the food source of the dust mite, as well as their allergen. Thorough vacuuming will also help remove pollen. To be effective, a high filtration machine with good cleaning performance is required, and if the home has pets, then a machine with a rotating brush is essential to remove pet hair from carpets.
Air quality can be greatly improved by keeping the home well ventilated by opening windows and by lowering the temperature slightly. House dust mites require moisture to survive, so reducing humidity is beneficial, as is airing beds and bed linen every day.
Always use an electrostatic duster, or a dampened duster, as this will stop dust particles from becoming airborne.
Use throws over fabric upholstered sofas, and wash them at 60C at least once a month.
Children’s soft toys are also an ideal environment for dust mites and should also be washed regularly at 60C .
Use anti-allergy bedding material.
To inhibit mould, regularly check and clean bathrooms, kitchens, and windowsills. Try using white vinegar or borax for cleaning, instead of cleaning chemicals.
Throw away aging fruit, as this will be a target for mould, and place pea-shingle on houseplant soil to stop mould spores from settling.
Anti-Allergy Vacuum Cleaners
A vacuum cleaner is designed to keep your home clean. It does this by removing the unpleasant and unsightly “debris” that builds up over time. A good vacuum cleaner will remove more of this debris than others and a very good one will ensure that this debris will not get back into the home either by being blown out through the filters or released when it is emptied.
Think of your kitchen bin: undoubtedly you use a bin liner. This is for the very good reason that without the convenience of a bin bag, emptying it would be very messy. You would have to frequently clean it – which would be an unpleasant and time consuming task.
Dust becomes airborne very easily and will almost certainly contain hazardous material such as dust mite faeces and bacteria so choose a vacuum cleaner with a disposable bag. Dust is safely retained within the filter bag and can cleanly and easily be disposed of in the bin, inside or outside. The filter bag housing of your vacuum cleaner will remain free of dust and does not require cleaning. For allergy sufferers the filter bag will go some way towards protecting you from the risk of exposure to dust.
Contrast this with a bagless vacuum cleaner: The dust container and its internals can rapidly build up with dust and require cleaning. The filters can require monthly cleaning. Because of the high probability of dust becoming airborne many people empty them outside, or empty them into a bag first. With a filter bag you have a purpose designed recepticle which the vacuum cleaner fills for you.
Sonia Roby, Ampthill
Very happy with your work.
David Bartlett, Meppershall
Suite looks superb. A first class job!