Sure, wall-to-wall shag carpet sounds all nice and cozy. Who doesn't like walking barefoot across a plush and cushy rug? They're warm, they're fuzzy and can pull a room together for that certain "look." But... you may change your mind after learning about what hangs out on those carpet fibers.
In addition to the bits of popcorn from last night's movie fest and other food particles that get dropped on them, carpets can harbor things like pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, pollen, pesticides and dead skin cells. Ewww!
1) Take your shoes off at the door. (See previous post).
2) Clean up spills and other accidents as soon as possible to prevent mold and dust mites from moving in.
3) Clean existing carpets using a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner 1-2 times per week. A high-efficiency particulate air filter is designed to remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles.
4) Have your carpets professionally cleaned or steam cleaned every six months-- but make sure to find a company that uses green or natural cleaners and be sure to let the carpets dry completely. Otherwise, you're just inviting the mold to stick around.
5) Rip up your old carpet (taking the necessary breathing precautions) and use washable, natural fiber area rugs instead. If you can't wash them, you can roll them up and take them outside for a good beating-- just like they did in the olden days.6) If carpet is a must-have in your house, choose carpet with a short, tighter weave rather than one with long loose fibers. The bad nasties will have a harder time setting up shop.
Read more about carpets at: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/flooring/carpet-allergy2.htm