If you’ve been plagued by asthma and allergies — or you live in a home with someone who is — then you know all too well what can act as a trigger: dust, dander, synthetic fragrances, chemicals, pollen, mold…and the list continues. You may have simply resigned yourself to the idea that a perfect (and stringent) cleaning routine is the only answer to keeping your home a safe haven. But it’s not about cleaning more, or making your life harder — it’s about cleaning smarter. Using better tools and relying more on smart technology (rather than elbow grease!) can go a long way in transforming your home and the wellness of the people who live there. Choosing a great vacuum with the best components can make all the difference in how you feel and function on a day-to-day basis.
Vacuums are a staple for most people, whether you’re a homeowner, a renter or a business owner, because there’s just no getting around a dirty floor. But vacuums aren’t what they used to be; for one thing, most aren’t made to last more than 5 years, and many lower-quality machines don’t have built-in features to help save time and effort in the future. In fact, an article in the Daily Mail makes the case that vacuuming can actually aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms, because “particles [can be] picked up and sprayed into the air by vacuum cleaners, where they drift around rooms and can be breathed in.” According to the article, a group of scientists in Australia found that “…that running a vacuum over dusty carpets and furniture picks up…bugs and mould particles, spraying them into the air like an ‘aerosol’.”
Even ripping up your carpets isn’t the solution, since contaminants can settle on all kinds of surfaces, especially upholstered ones like pillows, sofas and bedding. An all-concrete abode may have worked for the Flintstones, but most people want at least some warmth and softness in their home! For those with severe allergies and asthma, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) does recommend avoiding “wall-to-wall carpeting in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, or other damp areas”, recommending you choose area rugs in these rooms instead so you can wash them frequently instead.
The NCHH recommends that if you have carpeting, you should “purchase a quality vacuum that has a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter…and use it weekly or at least every other week. Multiple passes with the vacuum are recommended. One minute per square yard of carpet is a good starting point. More time may be needed for very dirty carpet, shag carpet, or those with thick pile. In selecting a vacuum, price is not always a good indicator of quality….Vacuums with a beater bar help loosen and remove particles that are held in the carpet. HEPA vacuums have special filters that reduce dust emissions from the vacuum exhaust. They must also have a motor powerful enough to make up for the added resistance of the HEPA filter….”
That’s why Aerus highly recommends our Lux Guardian Platinum Canister Vacuum, which features a double sealed HEPA filter. The Platinum actually has four levels of purification built in, which consist of a series of filters that the vacuumed air must go through before it’s released back into the environment. This ensures your home is clean and the air coming from the vacuum is safe to breathe.
Many common vacuums, especially bagless types, don’t and can’t eliminate the harmful contaminants in the passing air. Most actually have the opposite effect — they suck up dirt and dust (including allergens and spores), swirl them all together and then leak them back into the environment, which further aggravates the problem instead of resolving it.
Robert Marchlewski, MD, an allergist and immunologist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park., told EverydayHealth.com that “the most common household triggers of an asthma attack are pet dander, mold, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.” The Lux Guardian Platinum vacuum helps solve for this, as it has a sealed, true HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of contaminants as small as 0.3 micron, as well as an active carbon layer to help absorb odors, smoke and VOC gases from the air.
For added protection in homes with allergy and asthma-prone inhabitants, placing an air purifier that also features a HEPA filter can act as a great complement to cleaning surfaces with the right vacuum. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) recommends that for a single room you should “look for an air cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Check to see that the filter has a CADR (clean air delivery rate) that matches the size of the room where you plan to use it.” Allergist Jenna Tuck, chairwoman of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Indoor Environment Committee, told LiveScience.com: “If you’re going to look for a good, basic air purifier, something that has a HEPA filter is a must.”
The Lux Guardian Air Platinum features a better-than-HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of the tiniest particles as small as 0.1 microns, including pollen, smoke, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander. The Lux Guardian Air Platinum also produces no ozone during filtration. Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) controls pollutants by striking UV light on titanium dioxide; any remaining particles are captured and retained by the filter, a unique media that performs above traditional HEPA filters. The Guardian Air Platinum also features an exceptional CADR rating from The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and a high porosity, activated carbon layer that prefilters large particles and absorbs odors and smoke.