The size of most airborne pollutants is measured in microns(one-millionth of a meter). Common and harmful airborne particles rangein size from 2.4 microns to .3 microns. Below are some common householdparticles and their width:
Human Hair: 60-100 MicronsDust Mites: 125 MicronsDust Mite Feces: 10-24 MicronsPollen: 10-40 MicronsMold Spores: 2-10 Microns
Unfortunately, the average vacuum cleaner will only filter particlesfrom 30-50 microns in size, meaning that dust mite feces, pollen, andmold spores are not being effectively removed. Animal dander isespecially difficult to remove, with particles about 2.5 microns insize that can stay airborne for hours. Some models of vacuum canactually increase the airborne allergen levels in a home! Its time tokick things up a notch.
Consumer Reports states that high-priced, feature-laden machineswill not necessarily do a better cleaning job. In many cases, youll beable to find a quality upright model that can get the job done. They especially recommend upright models for carpets, but warns that theyreawkward on stairs. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, however, acentral vacuum system may be the best answer. While new vacuum cleanersmake many claims, such as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)cleaners that can remove 99.97% of the particles from the air, acentral vacuum cleaning system removes 100% of the particles becausethe air is being ejected outside of the house. Most central vacuumsystems have 3-5 times the suction power of a portable system, whichmeans less time vacuuming with better results. While these systems areexpensive (about $1,000-$4,000) and not a good investment unless youplan on staying in the home for 5 years or more, they can increase thevalue of the home up to $2,000, which softens the financial blow.
Taking Care of Business
When you think of vacuuming, youre probably thinking carpet.Thats a great starting point! Hit the visible carpet area, and be surenot to neglect areas under and behind furniture, where heavy amounts ofallergens collect. And take your time- its easy to vacuum too fast andmiss the dirt and debris lying in wait deep within the carpet. Run overall surfaces several times to ensure that theyre cleaned properly.Hard floors should never be neglected, as they can also accumulatedust, mold spores and debris. Make sure to change the vacuum bag whenits about three quarters full, and change the filters often.Dont stop vacuuming with the floor. Dust mites and other asthmatriggers love upholstered furniture. Be sure to take some time on thecouch and Electrostatic precipitator chairs, and if your drapes and curtains have been hanginguntouched all year, its time for some TLC. And heres a pop quiz:whats the difference between a mattress and a floor when it comes todust, mold spores, pet dander, and allergens? The answer? You sleep onyour mattress! Vacuum it frequently to keep it healthy.To recap, youre sleeping, sitting, and walking in areas laden withmold spores, dirt, dust, dust mites, and pet dander. And to add injuryto injury, dirt is grinding continuously against the carpet and wearingit out. The right vacuum cleaner used properly will help stop this.Simple solution, right?
Take it to the Next Level!
Now that your surfaces are clean, its time to condition the air.Basement Systems has a veritable miracle machine thats perfect for thejob. The SaniDry Basement Air Systemdehumidifies, deodorizes, and filters the air. Its able to removeparticles as small as 2 microns- smaller than dust mites, dust mitefeces, pollen, and even mold spores! While its cleaning the air, theSaniDry also dehumidifies it, removing as much as 100 pints of water aday. With its Energy Star Rating, it does this at the same energy usageas a 40 pint model. Its self draining and needs no daily maintenance,and it can lower the humidity levels low enough to prevent the growthof mold and dust mites in your home. And with your humidity levels low,your house will be more energy efficient to heat and cool!
You spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your home, and it onlytakes a little more to make it healthy and comfortable. Your home iswhere you go to relax, recharge, and enjoy your family. Dont sweepallergens under the rug! Splurge.