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I remember the first time I saw an article about dust in the home. I was horrified.
I looked up from the words and didn’t really see my living room anymore. All I could see was dead skin on every surface and even floating in the air. That’s right: most of the dust that accumulates around your house is actually dead skin cells sloughed from the bodies of you and your family.
And that’s not even mentioning:
- pet dander (the cat and dog equivalent of dead skin-dust)
- plant pollen and mold spores (the reproductive parts of those organisms just waiting to make your nose run and eyes water)
- dust mites (just about the size of the rest, except they’re alive)!
If you or someone in your household has a respiratory issue like asthma, COPD, or even allergies, all these tiny little things can add up to a big problem over time.
And I say that not only from studying this issue, but from working as an EMT. I lost count of the number of respiratory emergencies we responded to – even in seemingly spotless homes! – because people’s COPD, asthma, and yes, even allergies had been irritated more and more by practically invisible particulates.
How Do You Clean Something Invisible?
Often the first suggestion you might hear is to buy a room air filter. These will help, but not as much as you’d think they might, unfortunately.
The thing is, most of the dangerous and irritating particulates aren’t actually just floating around all the time – they’re embedded in carpet, rugs, bedding, furniture, and drapes.
So oftentimes you’ll only start to be affected once you disturb those things, which unfortunately is something you can’t avoid. You have to walk on your carpets and rugs, adjust your drapes for light, and sit on your furniture…unless you want to attempt to live your life just standing in place.
What About Vacuuming Those Surfaces?
It’s true that a vacuum can be your best friend when it comes to dealing with dust, pollen, and other particulates…but it can also be your worst enemy.
The majority of vacuums are designed to clean up visible mess – if you can’t see it, the thought goes, it must be clean. And it would seem to be the case, especially when you empty out that dust container afterwards!
But those same vacuums are actually pumping all of the allergens and dead skin and mold spores and dust mites out into the air of your home. Whatever doesn’t happen to get luckily stuck to their simple foam filters gets thrown right back out into air your breathe, only to get embedded in your home’s surfaces all over again.
The Vacuums That Are Your Best Friends
Now, a vacuum with a HEPA filter, on the other hand, will immediately solve that disturbing issue for you.
HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air” – it is a type of filter designed to capture up to 99.97% of particles down to .3 microns in size. When a good vacuum sucks all the debris right up against that HEPA filter, that laboratory statistic translates in practical, household terms to pretty much 100%.
So Which Vacuums Have HEPA filters? And Which Are Best?
Fortunately, there are HEPA vacuums available in both handheld and upright models.
The best handheld choices are the DirtTamer Ultima and the DirtTamer Supreme.
- handheld for ease of cleaning furniture and your car (yes, there are the same particulates there, too!)
- capable of cleaning wet messes
- a headlight to better see what you’re cleaning
- 14.4V and 12V power – both very solid for a handheld
- low battery indicator so you can also better budget your time
If you’re looking for a HEPA vacuum to clean your floors, look to the Hoover Presto 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum.
- convenience of both a handheld and a stick vacuum for cleaning floors and larger areas
- 14.4V power and a motorized brushroll to make sure those floors are clean
- special cyclonic technology for ease of filter maintenance
- swivel nozzle for getting around furniture
- foldable handle for effortless storage
Whichever of these vacuums you choose, you’ll be able to rest (and breathe!) much easier when your cleaning is done!