If you have one or more pets, vacuuming is probably a big part of your cleaning routine. If you have allergies, there’s no question about it. Keeping your pet well groomed certainly helps, but a good vacuum cleaner is definitely a must. While many think that pet hair itself is behind allergy symptoms, the actual trigger is a pet’s dander, or dead skin, rather than the hair itself. Pet hair does carry dander, but (just like with people) shedded skin in the environment isn’t limited to shedded hair. Rather, it simply becomes part of the general household dust we all strive to control. There are lots of companies out there claiming they make the best vacuum cleaner for people with pet allergies. Sorting through the hype and understanding the truly important qualities in a good vacuum cleaner can help steer you in the right direction.
The biggest feature of any vacuum cleaner that contributes to its ability to help control allergies is the filtration system. Good filters help trap more particles than machines with lesser filters. The best pick-up power doesn’t do much for allergen reduction if the allergens are just re-released into the air, free to settle right back down on various surfaces. The best filters have multiple layers or levels and are accompanied by a system designed to trap a high percentage of lifted particles. There are even vacuum cleaners that use water to trap dust. The water weighs the dust down enough to keep it from being recirculated.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to models with the best filtration systems, take a look at airflow and suction ratings. Some mistakenly think that the best vacuum cleaners are the ones with the most powerful motors. Truthfully, though, motor power is only a part of the equation. Since a machine’s airflow is directly related to its suction power, you need to look for machines with the most efficient airflow. A powerful motor combined with great airflow certainly leads to an effective and efficient vacuum cleaner, but the best motor on the market is a waste of money if airflow is compromised by air leakage along pathways or at joints, which, in turn, compromises suction. A machine with excellent filtration and airflow can mean you’ll be able to get away with vacuuming a little less often without sacrificing allergen control.
Since pet dander behaves like regular “dust,” it can certainly make its way into crevices and crannies and find a way to settle under furniture. Finding a machine with attachments that let you readily tackle blinds, baseboards, and tight spaces is a must. If you don’t want to move furniture every time you clean, be sure to look at the profile of any models you consider. If you can’t find one that suits you and has a low enough profile to go under furniture, make sure you choose one with attachments that can reach all the floor space under your sofa or bed. Historically, canister vacs with hoses were more likely to come with more attachments designed to reach into and under tight spaces when compared to uprights. Today, though, many uprights are being manufactured with more attachments than ever before, bridging that historical gap. There are even models that convert from upright to canister with very little effort. This feature can be handy since it combines the easier maneuverability of an upright with the farther-reaching ability of a canister.
Another feature of many newer vacuum cleaner models is the ability to go from carpet to bare floors. Making sure whatever machine you choose is designed for your floor types is critical. The roller brushes designed to brush the dirt up from below a carpet’s surface aren’t always effective when it comes to getting into the fine lines of tile or other hard floors with any texturing or seams. Likewise, heads designed to work on bare floors generally won’t be able to get dirt trapped deep down in your carpet.
Taking a few minutes to better identify your needs and establish preferences can make choosing a new vacuum cleaner a little less tedious and can even help you save money by helping you separate hype from practicality.