Your carpet acts a filter. Living in a house produces dust, and a carpet that is properly maintained is an effective filter of that dust. It’s tempting, when you vacuum your carpet and fill a bag with dust, to think that the carpet is the problem. In fact, the carpet is holding that dust down for you between vacuuming. Without carpet, it would need to be swept, and that process creates even more airborne particles.
It’s true that I have an incentive for people to keep their carpets. However, this has been studied, most recently by Airmid Healthgroup, which found that even without cleaning, the air was cleaner where there was carpet:
Prior to cleaning, the levels of airborne allergens, such as cat and dust mite allergens, were less for all of the carpets than the hardwood flooring, even after the carpet was repeatedly disturbed.
Furthermore, cleaning the carpet further improved the air quality:
After cleaning the carpets, a meaningful reduction in allergens occurred in the carpet and the surrounding air. The carpets were cleaned using the industry recommended method, which included vacuuming, cleaning with a cleaning agent, agitation, and hot water extraction.
These studies were presented to the Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology and the American Collegeof Allergy, Asthma and Immunology by practicing allergy and immunology physician (and chairman of Airmid) Dr. Bruce Mitchell.