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Are modern homes healthy? Or a breeding ground for allergies?


Lowering our energy consumption by insulating our homes has left them somewhat unhealthy as the majority of modern households have both central heating and double-glazing. Although this keeps us warm and draught free, it also creates an inadequately ventilated environment - which an ideal breeding ground for microscopic dust mites and germs.

One of the most common causes of allergies is the dust mite. The dust mite feeds on human skin that is shed into our carpet and upholstery once every three days, however it is not the dust mite that causes the allergy but the faeces it excretes. A dust mite will live for around four months and a female will lay eggs every three weeks. A dust mite will excrete anything up to twenty droppings everyday and it is these enzymes that contain allergen that attacks the lining of the lung, causing skin allergies like eczema and respiratory allergies such as asthma.

You may think that ripping up carpets and laying wooden flooring is the solution however this isn’t always practical as people like the warmth and soundproofing that carpets provide. The solution in this case is to properly deep clean and maintain your carpets and upholstery. The key to helping asthma suffers is to reduce their exposure to allergens by keeping a fresh and healthy home. It is important not let carpets get dirty before taking steps to clean them, carpets act like a giant filter trapping dust mites and dirt. Even regular vacuuming is not enough - as only the surface dirt is removed. By deep cleaning your carpets on a regular basis the dust mites and dirt hidden deep at the base of the carpet is removed. It is also important for allergy sufferers to deep clean their mattress and regularly change their bedding and pillows, as dust mites will settle anywhere it is warm.

Pet allergens can also be removed by deep cleaning carpets. Those allergic to cats can have symptoms for many months after one has last lived in a house. This is because pet allergens can linger for a long time on carpets and upholstery and are very difficult to remove without resorting to deep cleaning. When moving house it is best to check if the previous owners had pets.
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