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Mukilteo, WA - More than 20 years ago, Doyle Bloss, now marketing manager for hot-water carpet extractor manufacturer U.S. Products, listed five reasons why carpet can benefit a facility, whether residential or commercial. Today, we find his "benefits of carpet" reasoning still valuable. If fact, he has added five more benefits of carpeting that will likely prove just as valuable 20 years from now. Below are Bloss' previous and new benefits of carpeting for home or business: Appearance:Carpeting adds to the décor by using color, patterns, and pile heights. The carpeting can create the image you want in your home or business. Style: With the hundreds of patterns, cuts, and colors, there are literally thousands of possibilities to "fulfill" the style statement. Insulation: Carpet can help save energy as it is an important contributor to the insulation of the indoor environment. Carpet insulates floors as it provides a psychological feeling of warmth. Feel: Try curling up in front of the fireplace on a hard surface floor. Carpet feels good, soft, and easier on the feet. It also gives a "softer" feel to the home. Acoustics: Several studies find that carpets absorb sound and carpets with padding further enhance this ability. And, his new benefits of carpet: Safety: Invariably, slip-and-fall accidents occur on hard surface floors, not carpeted floors. Cost savings:According to the IICRC, carpet usually costs less over time than hard surface flooring to purchase, clean, and maintain.* Health: Carpet traps allergens, dust, and other contaminants, holding them until they can be properly removed. Easier to maintain: Carpeting is less labor intensive to clean and maintain than hard surface flooring and, because of this and as mentioned, can cost less to maintain as well. Sustainable: New technologies have been introduced allowing old carpet to be recycled into new carpet or other products; according to one manufacturer's study, of 121 million pounds of worn carpet collected, 85 percent was recycled into new carpet, eliminating the need for acquiring raw materials. * A 2003 Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification study found that, on an annual basis, hard surface floors require two and one-half times more cleaning time than carpet, and cleaning supplies were about seven times more expensive for vinyl floors than for carpeted floors. While upfront purchase and installation costs are more expensive for carpet than hard flooring, carpet expenditures prove to be more cost-effective over the full life of the product.