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New Furnishings

Congratulations on the purchase of your new textile furnishings. We hope that you will be pleased with the carpet, rug, upholstery or draperies you have just acquired. Here are a few hints to help you enjoy these new items and ensure their proper installation in your home or workplace.

Almost all new furnishings will give off some odor until they are fully aired. This may be true whether it is a rug, carpet, pad or cushion, or products used to install the carpet. It may also include the foam, fabric and construction materials used in furniture manufacture or the fabrics, linings, vinyl or foam backing used on some draperies. The odor is related to a low level of emissions from the new furnishings.

Most emissions drop significantly after the first day or two following the carpet installation or removal of the plastic covering protecting new upholstered furniture. In those situations in which the odor lingers, it is usually due to poor ventilation. Any odors, if noticeable at all, will generally disappear within a few days to a week for most textile furnishings.

The key to minimizing the odor and speeding up the "airing out" process is to ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Ask the retailer to unwrap or unroll the textiles for a day or two prior to delivery and installation to minimize the new product odor. Open the windows or doors to let in fresh air. Run the fans or air conditioner on the "fresh air" ventilate or exhaust setting. If you work in an office building without windows, or with those that don't open, ask the building manager to be certain that the fresh air intake is open on the central air handling system. If the odor is objectionable, request to be moved to another room or area of the building, or try another part of your home, until the odor has subsided or disappears.

The small initial emissions and odor do not pose any known health risk. But some people more sensitive to these emissions at first experience some allergic or flu-like symptoms; again, fresh air is the best remedy. Some have also asked if carpet contains formaldehyde. You'll be pleased to know that it does not and has not for more than ten years.

Another common question asked is whether the excess pile fiber (or fuzz) removed during vacuuming of new carpet is normal. It is and does not indicate anything unusual. After the initial wear period and vacuuming, the loose surface fibers will be removed. This has no bearing, however, on the carpet's eventual service life.

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