When was the last time you had your carpets professionally cleaned? If you’re like the average American household, it was probably some time in the last year – and you will probably wait at least another year to get them cleaned again. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends carpets in residential homes are cleaned every 6-12 months if 2 or fewer people live in the home who is non smokers. For larger families with both kids and pets, the EPA recommends a professional carpet cleaning every 3 months [U.S. EPA letter, January 1989].
Recommendations like this are based on the indoor air quality in homes. Dust, dander and a multitude of soils collect on carpet, which acts as filter as air circulates through vent systems in a home. For persons with allergies, asthma, and even pregnant women and the elderly, having clean carpets can make a big difference in their quality of life indoors.
Having your carpet cleaned every 3 months can be very expensive. A market check of professional carpet cleaning prices showed that among both national brand names and smaller local carpet cleaning companies, the average cost for a 3 room, two hallway carpets cleaning at about $125 after coupons and specials were applied. If a homeowner has a carpet cleaner visit 3 times a year, the total cost of carpet cleanings can really add up.
Some families are choosing the do-it-yourself route to cleaning their carpets. Depending on where you live, grocery stores are offering cleaning machines and a multitude of carpet cleaning solutions for purchase. This may be another good way to keep your carpets cleaned. The drawback is that homeowners must do all then tough work themselves – lugging the machine to their cars and moving their own furniture. There are also some inherent risks with do-it-yourself methods that include:
– Over saturation of the carpet. If too much water or solution is applied, the glue that holds carpet fibers together can separate and ruin carpet
– Misapplication of cleaners. The incorrect cleaning solution applied to certain stains can permanently bleach or discolor carpet.
One thing is clear, indoor air quality is affected by the frequency with which your home’s carpets are cleaned, so professional carpet cleaning companies are finding unique ways of providing less expensive cleanings. Some offer new and improved package pricing to their customers. Customers who combine carpet cleaning with other services like Oriental rug cleaning can sometimes save upwards of 60% off their total bill. This allows homeowners to save some money and gets both carpet cleaning and rug cleaning taken care of in one visit. Other carpet cleaning companies are selling professional-grade carpet cleaning sprays and solvents, so that customers wanting to take care of their carpets themselves can do so without some of the risks associated with over-the-counter products. Another unique approach by professional carpet cleaning companies is to offer a stain removal only service. Here, customers pay only for the stain removal and not an entire carpet cleaning. Kiwi Carpet Cleaning offers this with a One Year Carpet Cleaning Warranty, where entire rooms are cleaned at a low price throughout the year. While you might have to move furniture yourself and vacuum before the carpet cleaning technician arrives, the low price may offset any minor hassles.
With all the dust, dander, dirt and soot collecting on the surfaces in your home, it is important to remind yourself that what you collect on a dust towel is just a small fraction of what ends up in your carpet. Take inventory of how often your carpets are walked on in your home and make carpet cleaning decisions that help you and your family breathe easier this year.