OK, maybe its just me, but our vacuum smells. Yes we upgraded to a bagless model, we empty it regularly, and clean the filters, but it still smells. And it got me thinking – how good a job is it doing at cleaning? And what other options are out there? A quick bit of research and I’m relieved to find that I am not alone. To make it worse though, I discover that not only might the vacuum smell, it may also be adding to the dust & allergens in the air, not reducing them. I also discovered that Australia has a really high prevalence of asthma – nearly 10% of our population suffers from asthma like symptoms.
Vacuuming & Allergens
Drill down into the causes and yes there are a wide variety, but high on the list are dust mites, animal ‘dander’, cockroaches, and generic ‘dust’ in the home. What’s the best way to get rid of them – vacuuming.
But what kind of vacuum? Researchers at the QUT, Brisbane ran a study recently where they tested 21 vacuum cleaners. All of them released some bacteria, allergens & dust back in the air. As expected newer models with HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Air), and more expensive models performed better. But still, it’s not ideal.
It seems that the vacuums may actually be spitting very fine dust and bacteria back in to the air in your home. Digging a little bit deeper, I found some references to ducted vacuuming being a better solution.
Best Choice Of Vacuum For Allergies
Given its an installed product built into your home, I wanted to know more. The key difference between a normal vacuum and a ducted system is that all of the dust, dirt and allergens vacuumed up are stored outside your home. This means 100% filtration. A ducted system needs to be installed into your home. So this means that piping runs from different points in your home back to a central bin location – the best choice is the garage, or in a storage room, or even outside with a canopy installed above.
Like everything there are different designs of ducted vacuums but the one that interests me is the one from Volta Centravac. Key reason is – the position of the filter. The air inlet is below the filter. This means that straight away the majority of the dirt drops to the bottom. Then the air is sucked up through the self cleaning filter, before getting to the air outlet to be recirculated. In some other product designs all the dirt is caught above the filter and the air is sucked down through both the collected dirt and the filter.
It just sounds less efficient. The other benefit of a ducted vacuum is that they are more efficient at picking up the dirt and the allergens. Oh and did I mention that there are no consumables? So that means once you’ve got your system installed there are no further running costs.
Its ticking my boxes all the way through – better at picking up the dust, more efficient at filtering the air to remove all of the dust and allergens, and then completely sealed and away from living areas to make sure that the dust is actually removed from your home. Now my challenge is to find a good installer to work out how one can be retro-fitted into our split level home.
Want To Know More About Ducted Vacuuming Installs?
Read More: Cost Of A Ducted Vacuum System
The Team at House of Home would like to thank John Ellem from Volta Centravac for his time and the information contained in this article.