Vacuum cleaners are so important that we cannot spend one day without using it. Vacuum cleaners don’t only clean your home but also clean the air around so your home turns into a safe and clean haven. It is quicker and easier to use, compared to the traditional manual cleaning methods. They can help you save time, make your domestic life more comfortable and reduce chances of air-borne diseases.
With the advancements of technology, vacuum cleaners are becoming lighter and easier to use every day. However, are they getting healthier? Are there any health risks involved? Well, some reports from experts claim that there indeed are some health risks which can arise if the vacuum cleaner isn’t well maintained. We will look into how these risks could be detrimental to human health and what you can do to ensure your vacuum cleaner is not putting your health at risk.
What do the researchers have to say?
Some research investigations have reported that the dust and bacterial emissions that are sucked in under high pressure are released back into the air with equal force. Even if the amount released is small, this could be detrimental for health. Asthma patients and patients with breathing difficulties would get trigger attacks after coming in contact with pollen and other airborne irritants. The conditions of hypersensitive individuals and people with multiple allergies would also deteriorate if they inhale pollen, spores, dust or pet hair.
Newer models have shown lower emissions compared to older cheaper models, according to the researchers at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Such reports worked in favor of the idea that using vacuum cleaners may carry certain risks to health.
These studies have garnered the opinions of experts from all over the world. Old vacuum cleaners that have never been cleaned could release more particles into the air than suck them in, according to Assistant Professor Viviana Temino from University of Miami School of Medicine.
Jeffrey Mays, the principal scientist of May Indoor Air Investigations, suggests the use of HEPA filters and cleaning filters regularly. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, have advised on installing a central unit vacuum cleaning system instead of using vacuum cleaners, as these do not emit particles back into the air.
Despite the usefulness and health benefits associated with using vacuum cleaners, it could be concluded that vacuum cleaners do have their share of risks.
How vacuum Cleaners with Hepa Filters can help:
Scientists suggest replacing older vacuum cleaners and use newer vacuum cleaners. Newer models have shown better cleaning and also lower remissions of dust and dirt content. They have found several vacuum cleaners from different brands to emit harmful particles, but the ones with HEPA filters emitted the least. This is why scientists have advised use of HEPA, or even better, ULPA filters in vacuum cleaners.
You should check the vacuum cleaner and see what type of filter you are using. Checking and cleaning the filters is extremely important for the efficiency of the cleaner and for your overall health. Many people are not much aware of these kind of filters. They are at risk of possible health problems, so here are some vacuum cleaner filters you should know about.
- Ultra low penetration air filter (ULPA): These filters are usually used in museums and hospitals. They are almost 99.99% efficient and can trap anything as small as 0.12 micrometers!
- High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter: These filters are quite expensive but highly recommended by scientists. These are around 99.97% efficient and can block particles as small as 0.3 micrometers. These filters can block hazardous particles like mold, bacteria, fungus, pollen and other allergens including pet hair.
- Non-HEPA filter: These filters can only block particles as small as 30-50 micrometers, such as small hairs, dust, large pollen and spores, etc. These are found in old traditional models of vacuum cleaners.
Some vacuum cleaners, despite having good filters, may leak dust particles through the sides. In such cases changing the vacuum cleaner should be done or it could be hazardous to health. If your vacuum cleaner does not do this, you have nothing to worry about. A little maintenance could keep your vacuum cleaner properly running for years and your home clean and fresh.
How to make your vacuum cleaner do better!
With proper care and maintenance, a vacuum cleaner could be your savior! You can say farewell to all health risks associated with vacuum cleaners if you follow a few simple tips.
- Clean brush rolls and filters of the vacuum cleaner regularly
- Check vacuum hoses and other air pathways for any obstructions
- Replace HEPA filter every six to twelve months. If you are using a non-HEPA filter, rinse and then reinstall it into the cleaner after drying.
- Always empty bags and replace the bags with new ones in case you have a bagged vacuum cleaner. Some researchers have also advised that bagged vacuum cleaners could be treated with antibacterial agents to prevent growth of microorganisms.
- Wash rugs or carpets that may have allergens or mites, with hot water every week.
Vacuum cleaners are definitely worth having at home to prevent infections and possible allergies. You can stay relieved that your children and loved ones will not inhale dirt and dust while your vacuum cleaner is around. Although there have been small issues about vacuum cleaners being detrimental to health, there have only been very few incidents of health problems as a result of vacuum cleaner use. Vacuum cleaners however, should be maintained and cleaned at regular intervals to avoid those health risks.