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Vacuum Cleaner: Blessing or Curse?

                     DuJour Sneeze

Given the fact that I had allergies, vacuuming any kind of surface with our old Hoover cannister vacuum  was a chore that sent me into sneezing fits.  The air that went IN the vacuum seemed just as dirty as the air that came OUT, if my teary eyes, runny nose and shortness of breath were any indication of the truth. I could clean everything in the apartment – the dishes, the bathrooms, the linoleum floor, the kitchen…I even dusted the furniture with nary an allergic symptom. 

Vacuuming was simply my nemesis; it defeated me in every way.  I thought that maybe using a dust mask would help me. I tried 3 different kinds of dust masks, two of which only fogged up my glasses so much, that I couldn’t see what I was doing! The third just didn’t filter much of the allergens and I wound up with asthma symtoms anyway.  Someone came up with the bright idea of staying out of a carpeted room for 10 minutes after it was vacuumed.  Great, as long as someone else can do your vacuuming for you!

Enter the HEPA air filter, which removes at least 99% of all particles (like dust, mold, mildew, pollen and pet dander) of the air run through it!  Personally, the only HEPA air cleaner I ever used was, I think, far too small for the area in which it was placed, so my opinion of them is flawed. Consumer Reports, as I’ve read, likes HEPA filtering and an air moving device with a properly employed certified HEPA air filter really does take most particles out of the air.

As far as brands of vacuums are concerned, I’ve had personal experience with a number of the home versions of them. Hoover (canister), Eureka (upright), Electrolux(cannister), Panasonic(cannister), Rainbow(cannister) and Kirby(upright).  There are many other reputable brands out there, all of which do a respectable job

Now we’re in the age of HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners. That, in itself is a great idea – combining the vacuum (a gadget pulling dust up into the air) with a HEPA air filter (a tool to remove the dust from the air).  Only recently, I’ve noticed a germ killing vacuum called the Halo that kills germs with ultraviolet light! 

Unfortunately, with more technology generally comes more $cost$ so the vacuum cleaner has become a major appliance, much like a washing machine or dishwasher nowadays. So it’s important to spend the smallest amount on the most worthwhile vacuum that does the job for you.