Carpet or Hardwoods for Energy Efficiency and Air QualityIf it’s time to do a little remodeling and you’re torn between carpet or hardwood floors, you aren’t alone, it’s a debate that has proponents on both sides of the aisle (mainly carpet manufacturers and hardwood floor producers.)

If resale value, durability, air quality and beauty are your primary concerns, then quality hardwood floors will add more to the value of your home and is a better choice. At the same time you may want to invest in a pair of fluffy, warm slippers because hardwood won’t be as warm for your feet during a cold long winter.

By contrast, carpet is not considered a healthy option for those desiring good indoor air quality. Wall-to-wall carpet can be especially toxic for asthma and allergy sufferers. The out-gassing and collecting of allergens and pathogens in the carpet can be very high, especially if there are pets in the home. Humidity and clean air are essential to affected family members, new electronic filters and humidifiers for furnaces from companies like Honeywell and Aprilaire are critical to good air quality.

So, is there a difference in which type of flooring helps insulate and make the home more efficient?  Uninsulated floors account for about 10-20% of the heat lost from a room. A study from the Carpet Institute of Australia claims that carpet is twice the better insulator than concrete, tiled or hardwood flooring. Their study showed that most of the insulation value comes from the R factor of the pad and the thickness of the carpet, as well as having a good sub-floor.

With air quality, aesthetics, comfort, energy efficiency, all as factors it still comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.