Jeff Flowers on September 23, 2015 1 Comment If you suffer from allergies, and many of us do, you’ve probably tried a wide range of ways to help prevent and relieve your symptoms. There’s a number of ways to do this, assuming that you know what are causing your allergies to begin with. If you’re like most people, you probably rely on medications and antihistamines to help provide relieve from your allergy symptoms. Or maybe you’ve just stopped going outside all together. However, as unfortunate and fallacious as it sounds, many of the allergens that may be causing your allergy symptoms are found directly inside your home. Whether it’s due to poor indoor air quality or the need to clean the floors, indoor pollutants are known to spur on allergic reactions in millions of people around the world on a daily basis. Some of the common allergens in your home include: Pet Dander Dust Mites Mold Spores Cigarette Smoke While there are many ways to prevent and relieve your allergies, we would like this article to focus on how using a vacuum cleaner can help prevent your allergy symptoms from popping up in the first place. Or at the very least, keep them at a minimum. In fact, a HEPA vaccuum cleaner is one of the most highly-recommended solutions to lessening the amount of indoor allergens that may be in your home. It would be wise to invest into a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Here’s seven reasons why a vacuum cleaner is an essential tool you should have in your fight against allergies. 1. Over, Under & Around Regardless of their type or brand, most vacuum cleaners come with a variety of attachments or can be configured into multiple positions to help you clean those hard-to-reach areas of your home. Whether you are trying to clean under a large couch you don’t want to move or the very top of your drapes, it is very likely that you will have an attachment, accessory or extension available to you to accomplish this task. By cleaning these hard-to-reach spots, you’ve just eliminated one of the most potentially contaminated areas where allergens, dust and debris have likely collected. This is a safe assumption, as you likely don’t clean these areas often, allowing these potential triggers the opportunity to build-up, and ultimately, play a role in how you feel. Before buying a vacuum cleaner, do a thorough walk through of your house. Analyze all of the potential trouble spots so you can be sure that the model you select will be able to handle every inch of your home, including the spots you probably don’t think about cleaning. You might find that a stick vacuum cleaner, not an upright or canister vacuum, is better for your living situation. Because most models can become handheld, stick vacuums are easier to maneuver making them ideal at picking hair and messes from rugs or bare floors. However, these types of vacuums are meant to be used in heavily carpeted areas. 2. More Than Just Floors We briefly touched upon this in the previous section, but a good vacuum cleaner can offer more than just simply cleaning your floors. With the right model, you can clean different types of floors, as well as furniture, curtains, and every hard-to-reach spot in your home. Just a few of these common spots include behind or underneath major appliances, the tops of your ceiling fan blades, or build-up on your air conditioning vents. Of course, you will primarily use the vacuum cleaner for the floors, but with the right attachments, you should be able to clean a whole host of other areas in your home. Many of these areas, especially your furniture, you likely spend a lot of time on or around. If you spend a lot of time on your couch which, unbeknownst to you, is filled with pet dander and dust mites, you will likely feel the effects of it pretty quickly. A good vacuuming of the area, or even using a steam cleaner, can help kill off these potential allergens, allowing you to rest after a long day without the worry of breathing in potentially toxic particles. 3. Feel Better With Filtration Allergy sufferers are probably familiar with HEPA filters — it seems like they’re available almost everywhere filters are used, and this is for a very good reason. HEPA stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air,” which means these types of filters are designed to catch even the smallest bits of dust and allergens. In order to qualify as a HEPA, the filters undergo extensive testing and must remove at least 99.97% of all airborne particles sized down to 0.3 microns in diameter. This is no easy feat, which is why a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is not only essential to improving your indoor air quality, but even more important if you suffer from allergies. A quality filter is one of the most important considerations you should keep in mind when it comes to buying a vacuum cleaner for your home. For example, the Shark NV752, is equipped with HEPA filters and several on board tools, attachments and detachable extensions that make it ideal to help you reach ceiling corners, drapes, and A/C vents. This is just one example of what to look for in a vacuum, and how its features can come in handy. Remember that although it might seem as such, filters are not magical devices. They do diminish in their efficiency as they collect more and more dirt, so make sure to clean and/or replace as often as necessary in order to receive the maximum benefit of the unit itself. The owners manual of the device you buy will mention how often you should change or clean the filter. 4. Bags Over Bagless Bagless vacuum cleaners are often marketed as modern time-savers, tools of cutting-edge convenience. While it may reduce on waste to a small degree, bagless vacuums may not be an ideal choice if you suffer from indoor-related allergies. By their very nature, they allow more of the dust and dirt picked up to reenter the air, both during operation and especially when emptying their contents. When it comes to more traditional bag-based models, your options are quite varied. Those who are most sensitive to the dander in their home might consider multi-layered electrostatic-charged bags, which are designed to attract dust and keep it from escaping during bag disposal. Even more advanced bags offer innovations such as self-sealing collars, ensuring an air-tight seal and minimal exposure. Of course, this doesn’t mean that bagless vacuum cleaners are terrible or less superior than other types of vacuums. And by no means will we sit here and say that an allergy-suffer should never use a bagless vacuum, it just means that you should take extra care when emptying the debris collected after each use. Ideally, it would be best to empty the canister into a bag or trashcan outdoors. This will prevent any potential allergens from reentering and polluting your indoor air. 5. Canister vs. Upright The prevailing image many people have of vacuum cleaners is of tall, upright models that have been around since the early days of traveling salesmen. These types of units can definitely be ideal if your home features carpeting throughout, but they may not be your first choice if you have mostly bare floors, or the upright model doesn’t have the ability to clean bare floors. Upright vacuums typically feature a brush roll or beater bar mechanism, which is ideal for digging out dirt from deep within your carpets. More often than not upright vacuums have a more powerful suction and are often easier to store than canister vacuums. By comparison, canister vacuums don’t operate in quite the same fashion but can certainly be ideal if you’re mostly cleaning rugs and smaller spots throughout the house. These vacuums allow you to maneuver more easily between bare floors, carpets, and rugs. However, canister vacuum cleaners may not have the same powerful suction of upright vacuums, which will vary from model to model. For example, two powerful and durable models of canister vacuum cleaners are the SEBO K2 and K3 models. The K2 Kombi Airbelt Canister Vacuum Cleaner boasts a wide cleaning radius, powerful brush speed and adjustable height. Going back to the concept of maneuverability, it’s important to select a vacuum that’s not cumbersome or difficult to utilize, otherwise your cleaning habits may fall by the wayside. All of which is easy to accomplish with these two vacuum cleaners. 6. Suction Strength Since we just touched on this key performance feature, let’s go a little more in-depth. As you can imagine for a vacuum cleaner, suction strength is not only important, but it’s essential to truly clean the floors as you desire. Another key performance feature is how powerful the motor is. What’s the point of owning a device that can barely complete the job it was designed for? These two key performance features don’t always necessarily go hand-in-hand, however, as the amps don’t solely dictate the suction power. For example, suction power may also rely on other factors, including the air flow. Regardless, a good level of strength is desirable, especially if you have frequent need for deep cleaning or your home has long and heavy carpeting throughout. One tip is to keep an eye out for vacuum cleaners which advertise variable suction settings, as these are the models which generally offer higher power levels in addition to their base operation modes. 7. Seals and Emission Controls Self-sealing vacuum bags which feature multiple layers and electrostatic technology are nice, but they won’t do you much good if the cleaner itself has a poor emission control value. Vacuum cleaners are electric appliances which contain high-speed moving parts, and therefore some level of emissions will occur, even as they work to clean your home. Your job is to find those models which offer the best emission controls, so you can be sure you’re doing more good than bad when you vacuum. This is a particular case of getting what you pay for, as one of the calling cards of a cheaper model is one that’s not as tightly built and sealed. All SEBO vacuum cleaners are completely sealed, ensuring that vacuumed dirt and air particles won’t escape into your home. In Conclusion As you can see, there are many variables to consider before making your decision. For most people, a vacuum cleaner is a rare purchase — as they’re built to run for many years with proper maintenance, after all. Even more to the point, there are few hassles bigger than bringing home your brand new vacuum, un-boxing it and putting it to work, only to find that it’s not what you needed or won’t accomplish some of the tasks you had hoped for. Even if it’s only been gently-used, repackaging and returning a dirty vacuum probably won’t do much to make your day more enjoyable. Play it smart: analyze your home, as well as your needs and those of your family. Conduct thorough research on the best vacuum cleaners within your price range, and when all else fails, ask around. Consult friends, family, and of course, utilize the power of the internet to determine which is the best choice for you. Your first season living freer from the limitations of indoor allergies will alone be worth the time spent.