Vacuuming your home may be releasing more dust, dander, and bacteria than it's removing.
A study done by researchers in Australia, shows that some vacuums will actually pull the particles in your carpet out and then release them into the air, rather than capturing most of them in the vacuum. The study was done with several vacuums that ranged in brand and age. The vacuums that released the most dust and bacteria back into the air were the older vacuums and the cheaper models.
However, all the vacuums released some dust/bacteria particles back into the air; it's just that the newer ones did better at limiting the amount that was released.
This doesn't mean it's time to stop vacuuming. If you're happy with your carpet, vacuuming several times a week is one of the best things you can do to reduce air borne particles and improve indoor air quality. There are other things you can do as well. This includes cleaning under and behind furniture, washing throw rugs in hot water, and if your allergies are severe, replacing the carpet with wood floors. As a note on hardwood floors, this doesn't mean there will be less dust in the room, it will just be easier to remove the dust (by regularly sweeping and mopping).
So, if you have an older or cheaper vacuum, it may be time to upgrade to improve your allergies and indoor air quality. What you buy can be a personal preference, but according to the study, vacuums without a HEPA filter performed almost as well as ones with a HEPA filter.
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