Allergens, such as animal dander, dust mites, and pollen, can pile up on carpets and hard flooring. And then they can be kicked into the air when people walk on the floor or clean the floor. Some people with asthma may need to wear a mask while vacuuming or ask someone else to do the cleaning. A vacuum cleaner that is proven to remove allergens from flooring can be a useful tool to control allergy triggers in the indoor environment.
But because vacuuming disturbs dust and other particles on the floor, there is the risk that vacuuming will increase the allergen levels in the air. This happens when the seals in the vacuum cleaner are weak or there is poor filtration in the machine.
Learn more about the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program by visiting aafa.org/certified.
There are different types of vacuum cleaners available. Common types of vacuum cleaners include upright, canister, water-based filtration, handheld, cordless, and commercial.
A vacuum cleaner can earn certifications from different groups. They all have different requirements. The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program tests vacuum cleaners using these standards:
- Does the vacuum remove dust from carpets?
- Does the vacuum release airborne allergens?
- Does the vacuum leak through the seals, filters, or other components? Does the motor give off emissions?
- Does the vacuum lose air power when the dust reservoir fills or the filter begins to clog with dust particles?
- How much airborne allergen is the user exposed to when they change the bag or empty the dust receptacle?
- Does the vacuum remove allergen-containing dust from crevices?
The following table breaks down four certifications and what they look at when certifying a vacuum cleaner:
*You can find the above chart on page 14 of our freshAAIR Spring 2021 issue.