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Carpet Consumer Alert

Carpet Consumer Alert

Carpet Consumer Alert

Carpet and Rug Institute’s Vacuum Cleaner Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Testing Program

DALTON, GA. When it’s time to vacuum, nothing is more discouraging than realizing dirt is simply being moved around or thrown back into the air rather than removed. Vacuum cleaner manufacturers are doing their part to make cleaning easier and more effective by joining The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Vacuum Cleaner Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Testing Program.

Under the voluntary testing program, vacuum cleaners can be approved by The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) as models that have efficient soil removal, keep dust in the machine and out of the air, and keep carpet looking good. Vacuum cleaners, both residential and commercial, are included in the program because they are extremely important for maintaining the indoor environment and carpet.

Consumers and professional cleaners should look for the bright green IAQ program labels on the vacuum cleaner packaging and merchandise displays when selecting a model.

To ensure the carpet industry standard, vacuum cleaners are tested following a procedure developed by industry manufacturers and peer-reviewed by scientists with expertise in maintenance and indoor air quality. Vacuum cleaners earn the Green Label designation after passing the CRI test criteria for soil removal, dust containment, and carpet appearance retention. These vacuum cleaners are graded by:

  •     Soil Removal – must remove a satisfactory quantity of soil in four passes.
  •     Dust Containment – evaluation of the amount of dust particles released into the air by the action of the brush rolls, through the filtration bag, and any air leaks from the cleaner system.
  •     Carpet Appearance Retention – should keep the carpet looking good.

The CRI strives to assist consumers and professionals with vacuum cleaner buying decisions and help keep the indoor environment – surfaces and the indoor air – cleaner.

For a full listing of approved vacuum cleaners, visit or call (800) 882-8846.

Here’s to Your (Carpet’s) Health

The biggest enemy of carpet is dirt. Soiled carpets wear out faster because foot traffic grinds dirt into fibers, causing them to fray. Then fibers unwind and mat together like dirty hair on a stray dog. The most effective defense against this kind of carpet wear is frequent cleaning. Carpets should be professionally cleaned at least once, preferably twice, a year.
Carpet cleanliness can affect indoor air quality.

Indoor air quality, a growing governmental and consumer concern, is forcing carpet cleaning company’s to focus on health as well as appearance.
When properly maintained, carpet can improve indoor air quality, acting as a filter to hold soil, debris and other contaminants, and preventing them from becoming airborne.
Routine carpet maintenance includes controlling the spread of dirt with entry mats, vacuuming with proper filtration and micro filter bags, and immediate spot removal.
Regular vacuuming helps keep indoor air cleaner and extends carpet life. Vacuums have improved via stronger and better suction and use of filters that trap dirt down to 0.3 micron (a micron is one-millionth of a meter). It is equally important to regularly clean or replace vacuum filters to ensure efficiency.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recognizes the effect of regular carpet cleaning on indoor air. Cleaning includes regularly scheduled wet cleaning or extraction for total soil removal. Extraction cleaning is the most effective way to remove soil


Dust mites are far too small to be seen with the human eye. Dust mites and their feces are the single most common allergen that people inhale in there home. As microscopic animals, they are found in dust which produce a common allergen.

Dust mites, although much smaller, belong to the same family as spiders and ticks. Over 22 million Americans are allergic to mite residue that is small enough to be airborne. When disturbed such as vacuuming with a standard vacuum, they and their fecal dust may remain airborne for up to 10 minutes in your home’s interior air. Even walking across your carpet will disturb their fecal pellets. The membrane that covers the outside of these pellets-doesn’t break down quickly – which means that the pellets may keep their allergy causing potential for months.
Dust mites are most commonly found in textured upholstery, mattresses and long or loose pile carpeting. Their population increases and decreases with seasonal changed due to the rising and falling of both temperature and humidity. There are over 50,000 species of dust mites and most species greatly increase their reproduction rate and thrive during periods of high (over70%) humidity.

To control dust mites it is highly recommended that humidity be controlled in your home. Rid your carpets in your home of dust mites, dust mite fecal matter and residue, settled airborne pollution contaminants, microorganisms and other harmful allergens with a thorough carpet cleaning.