People having issues with asthma and allergies face the problem of cleaning their living quarters on regular basis of pollutants which decrease their quality of living and safely disposing the dirt and debris away.
There are several features which good vacuum cleaner for asthma and allergies must have:
- good suction, combined with cleaning tools required for various surfaces and type of dirt found in home,
- HEPA level of air filtration,
- dirt disposal system, regardless if it is bagless or bagged vacuum cleaner.
There are other features important when choosing good allergy and asthma vacuum cleaner, but they vary according to personal preferences.
Suction and Cleaning Tools
It is not the same to clean ordinary sand from tiles or long pet hair from thick carpets.
To pick the dirt, vacuum cleaner must have appropriate cleaning tools and attachments - to clean a pet hair from carpets, one needs good motorized pet hair brush or similar tool, which combine mechanical motion of the brush to pull the pet hair from the carpet fibers and to suck the hair with other debris into the vacuum cleaner.
When choosing good vacuum cleaner for your own needs, feel free to write down surface which you are going to clean the most, using your new vacuum cleaner: upholstery, carpets and rugs, hardwood and laminate floors, tiles, marble, stairs, cars etc.
Also, write down type of the dirt which you had issues before: pet and other hair, mites, pollen, dust, sand, common dirt etc.
Before buying new vacuum cleaner, be sure that new one clean required dirt from the surfaces you have at your home.
Note: suction of the vacuum depends on the motor power, but two similar models can have same motor power, but different suction - check Air Watts value (if present) and width of the nozzle. Air Watts describes the power of air stream, while wider nozzle enables one to clean larger area in less time. However, wider the nozzle, more power is required to achieve the same suction.
Vacuum cleaner air filtration is of utmost importance for people suffering from asthma and allergies - after the dirt has been removed from the floor, last thing what a person with such issues needs, is that such dirt is released back again in the air which one breathes.
Good air filtration starts with strong and durable vacuum cleaner construction - there is no much benefit of HEPA filters, if dirt air leaks out from the vacuum cleaner.
To achieve HEPA level of air filtration, most bagless vacuum cleaners have cyclonic air separation, combined with at least one more mechanical, HEPA grade, washable or not, air filter. Bagged vacuum cleaners have multilayered dirt bags, often combined with additional mechanical HEPA filter. Dirt bags can be reusable or disposable - if you have issues with asthma and allergies, bagged vacuum cleaners should be used with disposable bags, preferably with the layer of activated charcoal. Such bags are not cheap, but can filter even poisonous gases!
For people having issues with asthma and allergies, HEPA level of air filtration is 'must have' feature of the new vacuum cleaner.
Dirt Disposal System - Bagged or Bagless
Bagless systems enable user to empty the dirt bin after each cleaning in fast and easy way. One of the dangers is to release the dirt back into the air when emptying the dirt bin, so one must be extra careful when doing so.
Vacuums with disposable vacuum bags have no such issues - full dirt bag is simply replaced with a new one and disposed in the garbage (or some other way, if required). However, such bags do cost money, especially good ones. Also, as the bag is being filled with the dirt, suction is being somewhat reduced.
If you don't have issues with emptying the dirt bin, go for bagless vacuum. If you have issues even with emptying the dirt bin, go for bagged vacuum cleaner and be sure to use original bags - they are not cheap (compared with replacement bags), but will do their job very well.
There are other features important for people having asthma and allergies problems, some of them are:
- weight of the vacuum cleaner - lighter vacuums are easier to operate and navigate around corners and furniture. Lighter vacuums tend to be somewhat less robust with weaker motors.
- corded or cordless - corded vacuum cleaners are stronger than cordless vacuum cleaners, but they must be plugged in mains outlet in order to operate - length of power cord limit their range of motion, but as long as there is mains power, they can operate at full power. Cordless vacuums depend on energy stored in onboard batteries and when operated at full power, usually have autonomy of just few minutes. More expensive HEPA cordless vacuums operate using lithium ion batteries and have performances (almost) comparable to corded vacuums, but their operation time is limited, and price can be in hundred of dollars. When throttled down, their operating time is usually between 10 and 20 minutes. Cordless vacuums are also excellent emergency vacuums.
For people with asthma and allergy problems, cordless vacuum with HEPA air filtration can be of great help in keeping home clean, however, for main vacuum cleaner, I would recommend big and sturdy, corded vacuum cleaner.
- upright vs canister vacuum cleaner - upright vacuum cleaners have motor very close to the cleaning head and hence are more efficient. Canister vacuum cleaners use long hose and telescopic wand with cleaning head. Telescopic wand with cleaning head is much lighter than whole upright vacuum cleaner and much easier to work with and navigate around furniture, corners, over stairs and similar. However, many modern upright vacuum cleaners come with on-board stretch hose and telescopic wand and can be used as classic upright vacuums and as canister vacuums with hose/wand combination. Personally, I would recommend upright vacuum cleaner with on-board hose/wand.
- warranty conditions vary significantly. Some models come with mere 6-12 months, while some models come with 3-5 or even more years of warranty. Be sure to read the manual and warranty conditions carefully, and, if required to register your vacuum cleaner within given period.
- price of asthma and allergy vacuum cleaners - in most cases, what you pay is what you get. Big, strong, sturdy vacuum cleaner, with plenty of cleaning tools, HEPA level of air filtration and with other required features costs money - there are excellent vacuum cleaners in $150 - $200 range, but most allergy, asthma, animal hair and similar vacuums cost around or more than $300-$400.
There are several vacuum cleaner models which meet these requirements:
Of course, there are many other similar models from various manufacturers, but these are the most popular ones...