Importance of clean air in the home

If you are an asthma or allergy sufferer, you will know only too well the importance of clean air and carpets. Normal air contains a mixture of gasses, mainly nitrogen argon and carbon dioxide. However, it also contains many other particulate matters including:

- Dirt
- Dust
- Allergens
- Asthma triggering irritants
- Dead dust mites and dust mite droppings
- Mould, mildew and fungi spores
- Germs, bacteria and viruses
- Chemicals, smoke, gases and odours

Normally the contamination of 'fresh air' is approximately one million particles above 0.5µ per cubic foot.

These contaminants can cause an allergy reaction in some people. In industry, these particles can impair critical processes used in medicine or scientific research. In a house, the situation is made worse for allergy sufferers when these particles settle and attach to carpet and other types of flooring. It’s a fact that the levels of pollution found in many modern homes can be several times higher than the levels of pollution found in a busy High Street.

Information on common allergens

A HEPA vacuum cleaner can deal with the following allergens.

House dust mites

House dust mites are very common and usually harmless. However, droppings (faeces) contain a highly-allergenic protein that causes asthma and other allergic reactions.

Here are some scary statistics about dust mites. A carpet heavily infested carpet can contain up to 1000 dust mites per square meter. A normal carpet, with average levels of infestation can contain 100s of dust mites. Even hard floors such as wooden floors or laminates can harbour dust mites as they live between the boards feeding on human skin flakes. You might think you are safe if you sit on a chair – but you would be wrong. Furniture tends to have very high concentrations of dust mites and beds tend  to have the most with very many thousands living in one bed alone.

It is impossible to completely rid your house of dust mites, but regular vacuuming of carpets, floor upholstery, curtains and bedding will help reduce levels of dust mites and the allergies that they cause.

Pollen

Like house mites, pollen grains are very common in most households but their presence can cause problems to people with pollen allergies. Pollen is carried into the house on clothes or arrives through windows and doors. Levels can be high if the house is located close to green areas but pollen can be found everywhere – even in towns and cities as it is easily carried by the wind. Pollen grains measure between 1-40 microns, and are can be trapped by HEPA filter vacuum cleaners.
 

The only way to cut down on airborne contaminants is to pass household air through some sort of air filter. Ideally this should be a HEPA air filter.