How many people do you know of who have never developed any allergy symptoms in the last five years?
I bet, none.
Don’t get me wrong. The numbers speak for itself. In America alone, more than 50 million people suffer from allergies each year.
As a large number of people visits the doctor for allergy symptoms regularly, it is essential to know how to stay away from these substances that cause it, i.e., allergens.
Substances such as pollens, animal dander, dust mites, and even a few foods and medicines are responsible for allergies.
Several things are held responsible for developing allergies. You may develop chronic or seasonal allergies because of your gypsy lifestyle or unhealthy food habit. Similarly, dirty living environment is another common reason.
Keep Your House Allergen-Free
Living in a clean, healthy environment is the key to save yourself from allergies. It will safeguard you from developing allergy sicknesses that may lead to further complications in the future.
To do so, you have to minimize allergens from your home. A good vacuum cleaner is an ideal weapon to keep your house immune against allergens.
However, not all vacuums prove to work effectively. If you are an allergy sufferer, you have to consider a lot of factors before buying the right vacuum cleaner. Otherwise, you are back to square one — no point buying an expensive vacuum cleaner that can’t wipe out the allergy-causing elements.
So, what are these factors that you must have in a vacuum cleaner?
The first thing to consider is the filtration system. Likewise, the functionality, emission quality, and certifications are also vital determinants. In addition, there are a few more things that need to be noticed before buying a vacuum cleaner. Let me discuss each point thoroughly.
Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum for Allergy Sufferers
Below are the key considerations you need to know about;
1. Power and Suction Ability
You need a reliable device to repel all harmful substances from your home. The motor must be powerful enough to take out maximum dust.
Contrary to popular belief, power is not everything. Your vacuum should be able to suck out most of the microparticles that are responsible for allergies. For that, the suction ability is a noteworthy feature. To guarantee superior suction, you have to ensure a few things.
The seal suction unit raises the water level contained in a tube and thus, increases the suction. If your vacuum has higher ‘water-lift’ ability, it will be able to pick up more debris from the surface.
Another critical parameter is airflow which refers to the ability to dump the wastages into the dust bag. CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is a measurement that shows the amount of air your vacuum can pull in one minute.
Alternatively, you can check the capacity of Air Watts. It measures the number of watts your machine requires to transport a unit of air.
The bottom line is that you have to confirm that your vacuum has a sufficient amount of suction power.
Modern-day vacuums have plenty of exciting features. You have to decide on the features that are essential for your living space. No matter where you live, a vacuum with deep cleaning ability will do miracles.
The conventional tools will only wipe out dirt from the top of the carpet. But, the deep cleaning feature will take out the deeply embodied dust mites from the bottom of your carpet which are responsible for most of the allergies. I suggest you not to miss out that feature.
Do not forget to buy a tool with a long cord as it will give you more freedom while cleaning. The cord should be removable so that it can be stored easily. Though, the wireless devices offer more portability.
Some unit permits attaching cleaning heads and attachments for various purposes such as pulling out pet hair or cleaning debris from upholsteries. You can change them according to your needs.
For example, the tangle-free turbine tool uses a rotating brush to pick up dirt and never gets tangled. A beater bar works very well in cleaning up harsh debris. Likewise, a crevice tool will help you clean ‘hard to reach’ spots smoothly.
If the carpet is made of light materials, you can use a canister vacuum. It is appropriate for cleaning bare floors as well.
On the other hand, an upright vacuum cleaner works well in hard surfaces. This one also has the deep suction capability.
If you do not want to tangle with wires, you may opt for a cordless unit. These handheld devices are lightweight and more maneuverable. However, they need batteries in order to function. Therefore, the backup power of the product should be good enough to suffice at least half an hour.
This feature is essential because allergens may not always hide in plain sight. Hence, cleaning only the easily accessible area won’t be sufficient. An ideal vacuum must be able to reach tight spots easily.
It is better if the tool can clean up different types of floor. Buy the one that lets you adjust the cleaning head with the change of floor type. A handheld device works best in such case, and you can reach difficult spots effortlessly.
5. Filtration System
Let me explain why filtration system is so important.
A vacuum cleaner collects dust by creating air pressure and dump them in a bag or canister. But, there must be something to capture the micro-particles that cause allergies. Otherwise, they will re-appear in your atmosphere during the dumping process.
I mean, the allergens may still escape with the air. Therefore, a good filtration system is vital.
Do you know why most of the allergy sufferers look for a HEPA filtration system enabled vacuum? Here is why.
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Absorption. This filtration system is tested to filter out 99.9% allergens that are as tiny as 0.3 microns. Awesome! Isn’t it?
Well, there’s a twist in the plot. While the HEPA filtration system is a useful technique, it is not all that you need to block allergens.
More so, ‘the HEPA tested’ cliché is often used as a marketing technique unethically. Nowadays, many cheap vacuum models come with this multi-layered filtration facility but prove to be unable to repel allergens. Why?
Because the air may blow out via the exhaust if the system is not sealed. Consequently, some microparticles may never make it through the filter. It makes the HEPA filtration obsolete.
Therefore, choose a product that has a sealed vacuum system. It will prevent the leakage of exhaust air and ensure that all the allergens must pass through the filter.
6. Odor Filtration
Also, some multi-stage filtration systems work well and spray pleasing odor in the air as well. Refreshing, right?
Talking about refreshment, some vacuum cleaners are equipped with incredible odor filtration system as well. The technologies include carbon charcoal technology or UV lighting that proves to be useful especially in removing the foul smell of animals.
For the allergy sufferer, the micro-fresh filter is more suitable. It releases an allergen-free additive into the air that removes bacteria from the environment.
7. The Method of Disposal
After filling up the dirt container, you need to empty it safely. To do so securely, a bagged vacuum cleaner is the most hygienic option.
You may protest about the ease of use and simplicity of using a bagless vacuum cleaner. After all, it is easier to move with a bagless device. You just need to open the container by pressing a button.
But if you are an allergic person, this process may turn out to be a lost bargain for you. There is a high probability that the allergens may reappear in the environment during the disposal process.
Conversely, if your vacuum cleaner uses a sealed bag, it will contain most of the harmful micro-particles inside. There is no risk of getting in touch with them again.
Long story short, a bagless vacuum cleaner will save you time, effort and money; yet it is not worthwhile to buy such a tool if you are prone to allergies.
The healthier option is to buy a bagged vacuum cleaner, and the bag must be sealed.
Another factor that should be kept in mind during disposal is the option to have a dust cap. When you drop the debris into the trash can, it may release a fume of dust. Having a dust cap will seal the dust and solve this issue.
Buying the best available unit is not everything. You have to know the right way to maintain your vacuum cleaner. It is so crucial that without proper maintenance you will not be able to eliminate the risk of allergies, no matter how much a sophisticated product you buy.
You must clean the vacuum cleaner regularly. If the filter is washable, clean it every other month. Change the filter when it gets unusable.
When the bags are full, you need to replace them. Always buy some extra bags so that you never have to run out of them.
Certification is important
The best allergy immune vacuums are the ones that are certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. They test and certify vacuum cleaners that are proved to be useful against allergens. However, only a small number of products obtain such a certificate.
Do not get fooled by the bogus certification of some unknown organizations. In reality, these organizations might not know how to conduct research, let alone certify a product.
I know, it is difficult to always keep your house clean and stay away from things that trigger allergies. An appropriate vacuum cleaner will do the task easier for you. Follow the tips mentioned in the article for purchasing the best vacuum cleaner for you.