Are you or a member of your family unlucky enough to suffer from allergies?
Even if you use the best vacuum for allergies will it help or can it make it worse?
According to the World Health Organization, the estimated number of people worldwide with asthma, which is linked to allergies, is approximately 235 million.
What allergies are we talking about?
If you have allergies in the home you will know the benefits of keeping your home dust free. As that seems to be a trigger in setting off a reaction.
What causes this?
Dust mites are a common cause of allergies. Without trying to gross you out, let me give you a quick description of a dust mite. It is a tiny relative of the spider, which we can’t see with the naked eye. It lives in bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, curtains and carpets. Dust mites unfortunately live on our dead skin flakes (ok enough! I’m creeping myself out here).
So what can you do to help keep dust mites at bay?
Carpets can cover a large area in the home and of course can harbour dust mites. Even if you can vacuum on a daily basis, it won’t get rid of it totally.
It’s suggested that if you can get hardwood or vinyl type flooring it is better for keeping down dust. Keeping down the dust is where a robot vacuum can help as it can clean daily. You can set it to clean at a specific time, no matter what your flooring type.
One of the advantages is that it can get under furniture if the gap is large enough cleaning any dust and dirt there. That’s not to say that you can’t choose an upright or cylinder vacuum.
A disadvantage of this is you’ll have to make time to clean yourself. But they do usually comes with accessories to get into awkward places. You can also choose furniture made from leather or vinyl rather then material based.
Another cause of allergies is pollen in the summer time. You might think that this is only going to affect people outdoors. If you keep your windows open to let the fresh air in, this can let the pollen indoors. If you like to keep your doors open for the kids or pets to run in and out of it can cause an allergic reaction. Although it’s not as comfortable it is recommended to keep your doors and windows closed.. Don’t line dry your clothes as they can collect pollen. Change your clothes if you’ve been outside. Vacuum at least once or twice a week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Our most precious furry friends can contribute to allergies from their pet dander. This comes from dead skin cells, saliva and urine. This can collect on furniture, carpets and other surfaces. Contact with this can bring our immune system out in force.
Things that can help:
- Keep your pet out of the bedroom.
- Keep your pet off the furniture.
- Give your pet a weekly bath.
- Get someone to groom the pet outside who isn’t allergic.
- Vacuum often, using a mask or a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Other cleaning suggestions are:-
Concentrate on the bedroom first, as we spend a third of our lives in bed.
Dust before you vacuum and clean from top to bottom.
Clean around the ceiling clearing any cobwebs. You can use the vacuum with extension or an electrostatic or microfiber cloth. You can attach these on the end of a broom handle so you can reach.
Be careful with feather dusters or other furry dusters as these don’t contain the dust as well. Don’t forget to go across the top of the curtain rail and along the baseboards.
Make sure you give a good vacuum to the edges of the carpets or hard floors where dust can accumulate. If you have stairs there are lots of edges there you don’t want to miss.
Keep an eye on how full your vacuum is, as it can start to emit more dust particles in the air, the fuller it is.
CanYour Vacuum Cleaner Be Making Your Allergies Worse?
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Should you choose a bagged or bagless vacuum.
Whether you want an upright vacuum, a cylinder or a robot vacuum, bagless options can cause issues if you have allergies.
Some bagless vacuums advertise they are suitable for asthma sufferers. They do have an anti-allergy seal but the problem with that is you still get a dust cloud when you empty the canister.
Found when tested by Which UK.
It’s preferable the dust is contained while emptying as well as vacuuming.
If you prefer a bagless vacuum, check out the Dyson range by recommended by the (AAFA)
People have veered away from bagged vacuums because there is a cost saving if you don’t have to buy dust bags. If you have allergies it’s a small price to pay if it stops you from having a reaction.
Bags keep the dust from flying around when you empty your cleaner.
A bagged vacuum that can clean the floor with good suction is the Kenmore Elite 31150 Upright
You can also look for a vacuum with an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) seal of approval.
Another option if you would like to have a robot vacuum is the new Roomba i7+. This will cleans the floor of your home regardless of the floor coverings you have. You can control it with your phone and even set it up to clean by room.
How it works for asthma sufferers is that it empties itself into the bagged charging unit. The unit sucks the dust from the robot into a sealed bag. Remove when full and discard with no dust problem.
If you want automatic, hands free cleaning the robot vacuum excels. It can be set to clean at a time to suit you daily if required. If you have washable floors, make it easier to keep the dust down with a robot mop. This will allow you to mop your floors on a regular basis with little effort. The Braava Jet M6 can even sync with the i7+ so that after it has vacuumed it signals the robot mop to start washing. An all in one solution from iRobot, but a bit costly to get both.
What is a HEPA filter?
HEPA is short for “High Efficiency Particulate Air”. What that means is that a HEPA filter can trap a large amount of microscopic particles from the air. If your vacuum has one of these filters installed it stops the particles getting back out into the air.
Are all HEPA filters the same?
Branded HEPA filters can trap up to 99.97 % of small particles of 0.3 microns and are usually marked as such on the filter. 0.3 is the standard to all the filters are tested because most allergens in the home are 0.3 microns or larger. All vacuums have some kind of filter, some better than others. Knowing the size of allergen particles, you can check the capability of any vacuum filter if not Hepa.
Your vacuum can be your friend. Cleaning often is a must and sometimes finding the time can be an issue. You can automate the process with a robot vacuum if you like the idea of a hands free option.
The best vacuum for allergies is going to have a Hepa or high performance filter. You want good suction, a sealed container and a dust bag to keep the dust to a minimum. Keeping your floors clutter free can also help as it gives less places for dust to gather.