Can Air Filters Affect Filtration Soiling?

Carpet Filtration Soiling

What is filtration soiling and what does an air filter have to do with it? Filtration soiling is soot-like discoloration that appears primarily along the edge of your carpet. Some carpet professionals also refer to this type of staining as aromatherapy candle soot, draught marking, fogging or dust marks. It is more noticeable on lighter colored carpeting than darker shades, but the quality of your carpet has nothing to do with it.

Filtration soiling can occur more commonly under closed interior doors, baseboards, along the edge of carpeted stairs or near ventilation, central heating or HVAC systems. These areas are typical of airflow that is concentrated and directed through or over the carpet’s pile. Airflow is caused by wind blowing through frequently opened windows, seeping under walls, through ventilation ducts and between rooms. Check for drafts or gaps that will force air flowing under doors or over carpeting to prevent filtration soil from accumulating in another unsuspecting area. Some of the indoor airborne pollutants contributing to this noticeable dirtiness on your floor covering include burning candles, cigarette smoke, fireplace smoke, cooking or cleaning chemical emissions.

Besides vacuuming your carpet frequently, regularly change your air filters and clean air ducts to help reduce this problem. The level of accumulated filtration soil depends on the interior airflow volume, as well as your air quality. Installing and replacing high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) will significantly reduce these airborne microscopic particles.

Removing filtration soil is very labor intensive. Some people feel that having scotch-guard applied over their carpet is the prescription needed to keep filtration soil from occurring, however it is only a temporary deterrent. First, you want to eliminate the cause of your indoor airborne pollutants. Next, it will be wise to have your carpet professionally cleaned, then change your air filters on a regular basis to improve indoor air quality and help reduce airborne contaminants that collect on your carpet like a magnet. Regular cleaning coupled with frequent vacuuming will also help to alleviate this unsightly discoloration.