The right carpet can make any room feel cozier and add a nice ambiance.
However, it’s the pesky dirt that you have to worry about here. So, do carpets cause dust?
- 1. Carpets Attract And Hide Dust From Our Eyes
- 2. Foot Traffic Releases Dust Back Into The Air
- 3. Fuzzy Carpets Shed Fibers
Carpets And Dust
Carpets can collect dust from the room only to push it back again into the air when you’re walking on them. Moreover, some materials can shed and release loose fibers into the room.
To tackle the issue, we’ll go over the common causes in detail and cover the possible solutions to try out. Let’s dig in!
Why Do Carpets Cause Dust?
Before you start looking for a way to fix the problem, you need to understand why it’s happening in the first place.
There are a few reasons why your carpeting could increase the circulating dust in the air.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Carpets Attract And Hide Dust From Our Eyes
Windows, ducts, shoes, pet feet, and even grocery bags can all contaminate your carpeting.
It’s hard to estimate how much dust your carpet can actually hold.
However, it helps to compare it to hardwood floors and tiles to put things in perspective.
Imagine you leave the un-carpeted floor without vacuuming or mopping for a couple of days or a week.
Wouldn’t you be able to see a visible dirt layer?
Well, that’s exactly what happens to the carpet, except you don’t see it as clearly.
This makes the cleaning feel less urgent, and as a result, the fibers accumulate a shocking amount of dust, dander, and grime.
2. Foot Traffic Releases Dust Back Into The Air
Although it’s hard to imagine all that dust in your carpets, that’s not the main issue at all.
The real trouble starts when it gets resuspended.
Every time you step on the carpet or move it around, you practically push back a cloud of particles into the air.
You’ll breathe in some of it while the rest will fall back and deposit on the floor.
This resuspension happens with rugs and carpets about 2 to 4 times more than it does for other flooring surfaces like vinyl and wood.
3. Fuzzy Carpets Shed Fibers
Besides releasing the pollutants back into the air, some carpets even shed fibers.
While it’s not really dirt in the typical sense, it can still be irritating.
It might be due to the material, the maintenance, or even the age of the carpeting itself.
Sometimes, brand new rugs shed fibers for a while, and then the problem fades away with time.
On the other hand, it could turn out to be a persistent (and annoying) issue.
For the most part, you have to worry about the wool or spun yarn carpets.
However, other synthetic materials like acrylic, polyester, and nylon might shed, too.
7 Handy Tips To Reduce Carpet Dust
Now that you know how carpets can cause dust, it’s time to tackle the issue head-on, and there are a few ways to do this.
Ideally, you’ll want to limit the incoming dust into the room, clean regularly, and reduce the foot traffic as much as possible.
Let’s check out seven simple tips to help you with this task.
1. Check The Ducts
People rarely suspect the HVAC system to be the culprit, but air duct leaks happen way more than you might anticipate.
Dust finds the leak, creeps into the pipes, and is then funneled through the vents.
If you have floor-level ducts, then they’ll pump all these particles right onto the carpet.
Aside from the excessive dust in the air, you can tell that you have a leaky duct if you notice that the temperature regulation is not as even as it used to be.
Plus, the electric bill might be higher since the HVAC efficiency is dropping.
Simply cleaning the grill and fixing the duct should help with all these problems.
2. Know When To Close Your Windows
It’s always nice to open the windows to let the sunshine and fresh air in. It could also help clean the air of allergens.
Yet, you need to be cautious with the times you pick for airing carpeted rooms.
Otherwise, you might bring in more dirt than you’re clearing out.
So, always check the weather forecast for wind speed and particle load.
For reference, a moderate wind speed at 11 to 16 knots can be strong enough to blow dust.
3. Take Off Your Shoes
It’s not always convenient to avoid walking with shoes on the carpet, especially if you have friends over a lot.
However, it’s important to limit the amount of dirt that the carpet gets exposed to in the first place.
It can help to get a footwear rack and put it at the house’s entrance.
This way, you’ll remember to take off your shoes before walking on carpets.
Plus, it’s a polite indication to guests that they should take theirs off, too.
4. Use A Filtered Vacuum
Vacuuming seems like a great way to handle dust all around the house.
That said, regular vacuum machines might resuspend the dust back into the air, especially if you keep shuffling and walking back and forth.
Instead, you’ll want to get a vacuum with a built-in HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
Just make sure that it’s a true-HEPA model since those can trap up a whopping 99.97% of the tiny particles, up to 0.3 microns!
5. Invest In A Robo-Vac
For most carpet types, you’ll want to vacuum with less intensity but at a higher frequency.
The best way to do this is with a Robo-vac, which basically takes the concept of vacuuming one step higher.
On the plus side, you don’t have to walk and push it around, so the dust generation should be minimal.
It’ll also take the hassle out of the job since you no longer have to do the chore yourself.
Just like regular vacuums, you can get one with a HEPA filter to boost efficiency and get rid of the fine dust clouds.
6. Go For A Deep Carpet Clean
Besides regular vacuuming sessions, you can also give the carpets a deep clean every 6 to 12 months, depending on how much they get used.
This is also a good idea if you’ve just bought a second-hand carpet or taken an old one out of the attic.
You can DIY the process at home with a face mask, a hand-held steamer, a scrubbing brush, and a spray bottle with diluted white vinegar.
Alternatively, you can just call in a professional cleaning service to handle the job.
7. Limit The Foot Traffic On Thick Carpets
This is not always a possible fix, but if you have a room with a particularly dense carpet, try to avoid rustling it too much.
These rugs should go in a place that’s not as frequently used in your house.
Instead, you can keep thin, non-shedding, and easy-to-clean carpets in all the places with high foot traffic, like a kids’ playroom.
Plus, you have to keep in mind that opting for wall-to-wall carpeting in busy areas can make the cleaning job even harder.
The dust will accumulate in places beyond a vacuum’s reach.
On the other hand, if you’re using the wall-to-wall carpet for the acoustics, you most likely don’t have windows blowing dust into the room.
So, it’s not a serious concern in that case.