If you are suffering with allergies, then you should hoover your home regularly to help keep common allergens at bay and to best control your allergy symptoms. A good allergy vacuum cleaner will be leakage free, which means that it will retain all the dust and dirt it picks up and does not release it into your environment again. If your vacuum cleaner is not leakage-free, then the dirt that is released back into your air may trigger allergy symptoms for weeks to come.
Testing company Which? has found that some allergy vacuum cleaners retain more than 99% of the allergens they collect, while others only contain 10% - releasing 90% of dust, pollen, mould spores etc. into your environment. Vacuum cleaners that come equipped with a filter – such as a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter – are designed to contain more particles to help avoid triggering allergy and asthma symptoms.
Also, if your home has a large area to vacuum, it may be a good idea to look at larger capacity vacuums.
There are a number of things to consider when buying an allergy vacuum cleaner. For instance, what type of flooring is in your home? If you have both carpets and hard floors then you should make sure to purchase an allergy vacuum cleaner that works well on all surfaces.
There are both pros and cons for cylinder and upright vacuum cleaners. When buying a new vacuum cleaner you need to think about what your home is like.
For example, does your home have stairs? If so then you may want to look at buying a cylinder vacuum cleaner. Is pet hair an issue for you? If so an upright vacuum cleaner will be your best option. We have listed below some of the main pros and cons for cylinder and upright vacuum cleaners:
The pros and cons of cylinder vacuums:
Ideal for stairs and hard-to-reach areas
More reliable overall
Can be difficult to store neatly
Generally not as good for picking up pet hair
Can be more difficult to control and manoeuvre
Larger motors, which can make them more inefficient
The pros and cons of upright vacuums:
Good for picking up pet hair
Easier to store
Covers large areas quickly
Often has a larger capacity than cylinders
Can be noisy
Heavier than cylinder vacuums
Difficult to use on stairs
The wattage/power of an allergy vacuum cleaner is often used as a product selling point, however, good performance is about the design and suction. A higher wattage vacuum cleaner may mean that you are using more energy for a vacuum that may not have a great level of performance. Similarly, a vacuum cleaner marketed as "energy-efficient" may not be powerful enough to have a great level of performance. A vacuum cleaner needs the power to be efficient at cleaning floors.
A bagless vacuum cleaner works by trapping dust and dirt inside a canister that you empty into a bin. Not needing to buy replacement bags for your vacuum cleaner can be an advantage when it comes to saving money. However, bagless vacuums tend to have smaller capacities for dust than bagged vacuum cleaners, and the process of emptying a bagless vacuum cleaner can be very messy – which is a problem for people suffering with allergies or asthma. Therefore, a bagged vacuum cleaner may be the better option for people suffering with allergy and asthma.
To read more about the effects of bagged vs. bagless vacuum cleaners please visit our Bagless vs. Bagged information page.
It is usually recommended to buy replacement bags produced by the same manufacturer as your vacuum cleaner. For some models it is possible to buy replacement bags from third-party suppliers, however, these have been found to occasionally let small particles of dust escape. This may result in more frequent filter changes for your allergy vacuum cleaner.
If you have a lot of floor space to clean in your home then it would be a good idea to buy an allergy vacuum cleaner with a large capacity, such as the Miele S7580 AutoCare HEPA vacuum cleaner. It is important to remember that with some vacuum cleaners, as the bag/canister fills, the performance of the vacuum can diminish; therefore it is vital that you change the bag or empty the canister before it is at full capacity. A large capacity vacuum cleaner means fewer bag changes, which can save you money in the long run.
According to Which? the levels of energy used by vacuum cleaners claiming to be energy efficient varies. For a vacuum cleaner to be efficient at cleaning floors it needs power, this makes it difficult for a vacuum cleaner to use low energy and still be excellent at cleaning.
If earthed surfaces are touched, it is possible to get an electric shock from your vacuum cleaner. The main factors that determine the likelihood of this happening, and how severe the shock is are humidity, dust type being collected by the vacuum, the material of the floor and the material of the shoes being worn. To help reduce the likelihood of receiving an electric shock, lie the handle or hose of the vacuum cleaner down on the floor at regular intervals. This will help to discharge any build-up of static electricity.
Robot vacuum cleaners are vacuum cleaners that clean as you take it easy. Although the market for robot vacuum cleaners is gradually beginning to increase, most of the units available today do not have a powerful enough motor and adequate filters.