By the amount of sneezing going on at the moment, it’s clear that a lot of us are affected by the dreaded hayfever. Although there’s not much we can do to protect ourselves from that pesky pollen when out and about, the type of vacuum you use can really help to reduce allergy triggers inside your house.
The main culprits for allergies in the home are dust mites, mould particles or pollen that’s walked in on your shoes. If you have a cat or dog then pet hairs and dander (pet skin particles) can also play a big part.
One of the main areas these particles settle is in the fibres of your carpets, so using the right vacuum or even the right filter can make a huge difference. A HEPA filter (which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air filter) traps the tiny particles which would pass straight through a normal vacuum filter and be recirculated back into the air. Some vacuum cleaners are sold with a HEPA filter included, but if yours doesn’t you can buy HEPA filters to fit many different brands of vacuum, including Dyson, Vax and Bissell.
Having said this, a HEPA filter won’t be as effective if your vacuum doesn’t have good suction power in the first place, as it needs the strength to suck up the tiny particles for the filter to catch. A vacuum without good suction power can actually contribute towards triggering allergies, as it can disturb the particles and swirl them back into the air.
Pesky Pet Hair
Some vacuums are specifically designed for dog and cat owners, to help combat the issue of moulted pet fur all over your house. For instance, Dyson vacuums use Root Cyclone™ technology which spins the debris out of the airflow and straight into the bin, lessening the risk of hairs floating back out into the air.
Take Care of your Vacuum and your Vacuum will Take Care of You!
These filters won’t last forever though; after a certain amount of time they’ll need to be washed or replaced. This is usually about every 6 months, but if in doubt the manufacturer’s instructions should tell you.
Most vacuum filters are easy to remove and can either be replaced with a new one or washed, dried and replaced. For an example see our video showing how to replace Dyson vacuum filters.
To make sure your vacuum keeps collecting these microscopic irritants, you should also remember to empty it regularly. A vacuum bag should be emptied when it gets to ¾ full or the performance of your vacuum will be severely hampered. Even non-bagged vacuums should be emptied to avoid compromising their suction power.