No one likes to think of their home as being downright dirty. A little messy from time to time, sure. (Any parent with kids will attest to that!) But most of us will vouch for the overall cleanliness of our home…while walking around with the sniffles that last from season to season, or forgetting about stale odors that we’ve just grown used to. The notion of “Oh it’s plenty clean!” especially applies to carpet and rugs. One Utah-based magazine polled their readers about their cleaning habits and found that only 39% vacuum their main living areas once a week, while about 21% vacuum less than once a week.
To be sure, vacuuming is more than just creating those perfectly-lined rows in your carpet; it can really have an impact on the health of your home — and by extension, your family. Things like dust mites, pet dander, mold spores and bacteria act as triggers for conditions like asthma, which can cause the allergy sufferer to wheeze, cough and have difficulty breathing. According to VacuumsGuide.com, “Infrequent or incomplete vacuum cleaning can cause severe reactions in people who are sensitive to pet dander, dust, and other debris that accumulates on carpets and rugs. Regular and thorough vacuuming is a must. Even though it’s not possible to completely sanitize carpet fibres, proper attention can reduce the likelihood of a symptom outbreak.”
One of the main reasons vacuuming is so important is because of all the things that have a tendency to get lodged in our carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture. Did you know a single human sheds over 1 million skin cells per hour? A household of four then could generate 16-20 million skin cells per day — and that’s just for the waking hours you spend at home! All those cells go somewhere…and many of them are great food sources for dust mites. Having a constant food supply makes your home a highly desirable place for dust mites.
And if you have pets, they’re a major contributor to the very debris vacuuming can help you get rid of. VacuumsGuide reports that the “allergens adhering to dog and cat fur can maintain their strength for months” and recommends that “if pets are in the home, daily vacuum cleaning is strongly recommended to remove dirt, hair, dander, and the smaller microscopic allergens that are invisible to the naked eye.”
Regular vacuuming is also great for your carpet. The friction from dirt, dust and grit can wear down the fibers of your carpet, especially if there’s heavy traffic across the carpet, which grinds in the dirt even further. Vacuuming regularly can help retain your carpet’s color, structure and overall appearance, so you might not need to replace it as often.
The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that as a rule of thumb, you should vacuum at least once a week with a quality vacuum cleaner. But if there’s more foot traffic over your carpet, you will need to vacuum more. Their general formula is:
- Vacuum daily in high-traffic or pet areas
- Vacuum twice weekly in medium-traffic areas
- Vacuum weekly in light-traffic areas, using attachments at carpet edges
The Benefits of a 30-Day Vacuum Challenge
So taking a 30-day vacuum challenge can have a lot of positive benefits for you and your home. First, you might be amazed at how much dirt you continue to extract from your carpets and surfaces after doing it every day for 30 days. Maybe you’re missing more than you thought, or that there’s dirt you didn’t even see. And seeing is believing!
Then there are the health benefits. If you feel like you’ve got 12/365 allergies, maybe what you’re really allergic to is inside your home, where you spend a good deal of every day. Removing as many trapped allergens, dust and pollen particles, dander, and dust mite feces (because yes, that’s what sets off dust mite allergies: their poop) might have a surprisingly refreshing impact on the allergy and asthma sufferers in your home.
You might also notice after a week or two that your home smells better when you walk in. If your vacuum has a sealed HEPA filter, this will go a long way into improving your overall indoor air quality, since every nasty little speck you’re sucking out of your carpet is contained within the vacuum, and doesn’t blow back out into the space you just cleaned. A HEPA filter has 3 methods of filtration: interception, impaction, and diffusion. VacuumsGuide.com reports that “[vacuums] equipped with HEPA filters will release less dust, allergens, and bacteria into the air…. [HEPA filters] trap more contaminants than they release, and many manufacturers claim that HEPA filters eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, pollen, and dander from the air.”
At Aerus, we think the best vacuum you can have (for a 30-day challenge and beyond!) is our Lux Guardian Platinum canister vacuum. There’s a reason it’s our best selling vacuum — it’s super-quiet and has not one but two sealed HEPA filters. The Platinum also features Automatic Operation Mode, which can sense the type of cleaning you’re performing, and its System Indicator alerts let you know the condition of operation, including suction level and automatic mode, pre-filter notification, full filter bag and over-heated motor.