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Indoor Air Quality and Vacuum Cleaners

Monday September 21, 2009
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The most common form of health-damaging domestic allergens are dust mite droppings, pet dander, pollen, mildew, mold, carcinogenic smoke and particles of soot. Most of this particulate matter is microscopic in size, like tobacco smoke (0.1–1 microns), cat dander (0.5–1.5 microns), dust mites (10–15 microns) and pollen (15–25 microns). These particles are so miniscule that they easily penetrate the sensitive airways of the human body and generate a host of health and allergy problems.

For this reason it is advisable to vacuum a home with carpet frequently to ensure cleaner air quality. The best air quality is maintained by using a low–emission, high–pressure vacuum cleaner that will help reduce many respiratory problems, principally asthmatic attacks triggered by allergies. Frequently, an inefficient vacuum cleaner discharges through its outlet as much dust and allergen as it sucks in.

Such allergens and irritants and best contained using a vacuum cleaner with HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air filters. These filters are able to trap phthalates, toxic pesticide and flame retardants that become bound to household dust.

Emptying the bagless dust collector of a bagless vacuum cleaner often tends to disperse the allergens back into the air and becomes self–defeating. Hence in order to maintain clean air quality, cleaners with bags are typically preferred.

Other factors in buying allergy friendly vacuum cleaners are the weight and accessibility. It should be light enough to be easily maneuverable while yet being able to access hard–to–reach crevices. Uprights are ideal for keeping medium and deep–pile carpets clean, but attachments have to be used when cleaning inaccessible places.

The air filter of your vacuum should be checked every three to four weeks and replaced if necessary.

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