Living with asthma or allergies can be a burden at times. And, the last thing you want is for your own household equipment to be working against you!
A vacuum cleaner can often be the thing that offers relief and a pure indoor air environment. Or they can be the one thing that makes things ten times worse by releasing allergens into the air due to poor design!
We’re committed to helping you know what to look out for when it comes to vacuum cleaners that are safe for allergy sufferers.
Here’s our vacuum cleaner buying guide so you make the most of your investment and so you can keep your home allergy free for good.
Vacuum Cleaner Filtration
We’ve already covered the ins and outs of what to look for in a HEPA vacuum cleaner for allergies.
Do check these out as filtration is a super important element of a good vacuum cleaner! If you’re tight on time, the key takeaways are to look for a vacuum cleaner with a filter that can eliminate over 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.
The key for minimising allergies lies in a filter that at least puts in you that range of microfiltration combined with a design that does not leak unfiltered air and that has also been independently tested.
Ease of Use
Using a vacuum cleaner should be easy and intuitive by design. Otherwise your vacuum might fail to ensure that your house is actually better off after having been used.
Some things to pay attention to when you’re deciding which vacuum cleaner to buy:
- Are all the buttons and tools on the vacuum intuitive and easy to reach?
- How easy and safe is it to change the bag or empty the dust bin?
- How easy is it to maneuver the vacuum cleaner in tight spaces?
- How intuitive are the controls while the vacuum is in use?
Some models have controls placed right at your fingers, while others will require you to bend over or are not as easy to use while cleaning.
When it comes to performance, there are two things to pay attention to. The first is ergonomics and the other is function.
A good vacuum cleaner for allergy prone households needs to have powerful suction so all particles are pulled out of the air and off surfaces. But on carpeted areas, a strong suction with minimal rolling ability can feel like you’re pushing a tonne of bricks across your floor just to get the vacuum head to move!
So consider the type of flooring you’ll be using your vacuum on and the design features of your home. Make sure you get the right attachments for carpet and stairs as well as for those hard-to-reach areas.
Vacuum Suction Power
Power measured in amps or watts tells us how much energy the vacuum cleaner uses. Many people think this correlates to how powerful the suction is, but it doesn’t. So, when choosing a vacuum cleaner, do not rely on the amps used as a deciding factor.
Amperage is just the amount of electricity the motor uses and has nothing do with the suction power of the vacuum. The suction power is determined by the air flow and is either rated as CFM (cubic feet per minute), or as air watts. We’ll get into this in more detail below.
Additionally, some vacuums have very powerful brushrolls. Of all vacuums, the upright variety with the brushroll engaged, almost feel self-propelled.
Coming back to the ergonomics and intuitive use of a vacuum, the brushroll technology can feel as though a vacuum cleaner glides on any surface despite its suction power.
Usually measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute), air flow is the force exerted by the moving air inside the vacuum cleaner. This movement is what picks up dirt, dust, pollen, pet hair, dander and other micro particles and moves them all into the bag or dust container. Better vacuum cleaners have higher CFM ratings and are generally more expensive.
Another measure of airflow is the air watt. It measures the effectiveness of a vacuum cleaner by taking into account both the air flow and the amount of power (watts) a vacuum cleaner produces and uses. The higher the air watts, the better.
Powerhead vs. Turbohead
Turboheads are purely air-driven and work well in homes with some carpet, but more specifically, low pile or thinner carpet.
Powerheads have an additional electric motor that gives the brush roll more power to suck up dirt that’s buried deep in thick or high pile carpet. Many powerhead vacuums give you the ability to turn off the brush roll on the powerhead and use straight suction over smooth flooring. So it’s like a 2 in 1 option if your house has a mix of smooth and carpeted areas.
Electrically powered heads, especially those with height adjustment, can be more expensive but are the most versatile in terms of cleaning all types of flooring.
Attachments & Options
Do you need a headlight on your vacuum cleaner? Do you need an adjustable, electrified wand so that you can use accessories like upholstery tools and ceiling fan tools? Do you want automatic height adjustment to effortlessly switch from carpet to hardwood?
There are also bagged and bagless styles to consider. As an allergy or asthma sufferer, if you’re handling the disposal of the dirt the vacuum catches, you’ll definitely want to look into a sealed and bagged option.
If you decide to get a bagged vacuum cleaner, we recommend that you also get one with a bag change indicator light since the vacuum cleaner will not work properly if the bag is too full. This is when you can face issues such as unfiltered particles recirculating in the air and triggering your allergies or asthma.
Manufacturer’s Reputation & Warranties
And the final points in our buying guide are to consider:
- The manufacturer’s reputation
- Their manufacturing processes
- The durability of the vacuum cleaner
- Any associated warranties
A manufacturer’s reputation and the experiences of past customers deserve consideration in your decision making process. Certain manufacturers and products are highly respected in the industry for a reason and the same goes for products which have garnered less respect.
There are also specific models which have earned respect and accreditation due to their flawless design. They are built for allergy sufferers and meet even the most rigorous standards.
A lot goes into choosing a good vacuum cleaner which can protect you and your family from further allergy or asthma attacks. Consider the:
- Filtration technology
- Ease and intuitive design
- Suction power
- Air flow
- Sealed design
- Attachments and options
Choose a vacuum cleaner with excellent features, durability and a decent warranty and you will not have to worry about buying a new vacuum cleaner for many years to come!