A ‘green’ vacuum cleaner can attack indoor air problems, save energy

It seems that initiatives in the public eye to reduce air pollution are more common when the culprit is outdoor air.

After all, outdoor air pollution has a familiar face. We know it when we see it, with most major cities across the globe being prime examples of what neglect and non-regulation can do to the air we breath over a long period of time.

But the Environmental Protection Agency has been trying to educate the public on the dangers of indoor air pollution, which can often be measured at two to five times greater than outdoor air.

With growing concerns about indoor air pollution and its effect on people suffering from allergies or asthma, the manufacturers of vacuum cleaners in the past few years have zeroed in on the fact that their machines can make a significant difference.

Throughout the history of vacuum cleaner manufacturing, there has been one common drawback – that most of them did not have a sealed filtration system. In short, dust particles and pollutants from carpet materials or cleaners, etc., were being kicked back into the air. More specifically, they were going right into the lungs of the person doing the vacuuming.

The move to high-efficiency particulate air filtration systems is the latest trend, helping to keep the irritants out of the air. A more thorough seal on the filter system also equates to less power usage. In addition to that efficiency, many vacuum cleaners are now being supplied with an LED headlight for work in dark corners or under furniture.

While these trends are good news, it is up to the consumer to force the issue with vacuum cleaner manufacturers in a key area of conservation – using less electricity. Consumer advocates with a keen eye for conservation have long considered it a myth that the vacuum cleaner that cleans the best is the one with most power, with about a 12 amp motor.

They point to some of the most powerful deep cleaning vacuums as having only 7 amp motor, citing the use of larger vacuum fans as opposed to larger motors. Most high-end vacuum cleaners operate with smaller motors than those considered disposable vacuum cleaners, or the type you have to replace every two to three years.

So a keen consumer should be seeking a vacuum cleaner that cleans better because it is built to do so, not because it has a larger motor that ultimately uses more electricity.

Think twice about a battery-operated vacuum cleaner. At first glance, it would appear it is a good way to conserve energy. The problem is that the batteries have a tendency to die fairly quickly, and owners return the cleaners – and the manufacturer has to put in a new battery to resell it. By any measure of energy usage, this does not seem like a good scenario.

The bottom line is that it is possible to make vacuuming the house another in a long line of green habits – cutting down on indoor air pollution and using less electricity to do so.


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