What makes a vacuum cleaner good for allergy sufferers?

Not all allergy filters are created equal. Some share some similarities with others, but when it comes down to it, there is no substitute for looking at the numbers.

First, let’s go to the classroom and learn a little about dust. It comes in many forms and sizes….

 

Size in millionths of a metre (microns) 

Home airborne particulate chart 

All these sizes are pretty small, so if you want to capture anything useful then you do need an efficient filter rather than a paper bag or a piece of foam.

If you look at the ranges for allergens then you can see that they are in less-than-1-micron range- that’s less than 1 millionth of a meter. A human hair is around 20 millionths of a meter for comparison.

The ability to capture these fine dusts is measured by defined standards. This is where a term you may have heard of comes in: HEPA. This stands for High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing (filter). HEPA has various grades that are clearly defined by international standards. The lowest grade of HEPA on the scale has a minimum threshold of 85% efficiency with these super-fine allergen dusts.

Below this level (HEPA E10), a filter is not HEPA- no if’s, no buts. Terms like “HEPA-Like” or “Allergy F9” are designed to confuse people into thinking they are getting something they are not. HEPA E10 is the minimum level (and grade number) for HEPA (And none of this directly relates to Allergy accreditation, but that’s a different journal for a different day).

The Pure Cordless has a HEPA filter that is graded three levels above the minimum; A HEPA H13 (the “H13” being the grade of HEPA) and captures up 99.99% of fine dust particles, in this tiny size ranging from 0.3 up to 10 microns.

So that’s a massive, massive difference when you think about how much is getting through.

 

Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner HEPA filterThe Pure Cordless HEPA H13 Filter. More exciting than it looks (you’ll have to believe us).

 

So why don’t all vacuum cleaners have HEPA filters?

All vacuum cleaners, including cordless vacuum cleaners will have some form of filter before the vacuum motor. A relatively low efficiency filter (well below the minimum HEPA threshold) to protect the motor and to take out a minimum level of dust. Some machines have a responsible level of filtration here, others do not and price is a determining factor.

Some machines will have a second filter after the motor which could be for noise, or motor carbon capture. Or, as is the case with the Pure Cordless, it is for capturing allergens with a high-grade of filter.

You will only find HEPA H13 filters on the highest quality machines. The high particulate capture adds restriction to the system, so you need a enough power to overcome this. A lot of cordless machines simply don’t have that power, and for those that do, it means high end motors and batteries. It also adds cost; because these filters are at the top end of the scale they require high manufacturing precision. You’d be hard pushed to find a new HEPA H13 cordless machine at a low price.


Easy then. If it’s got a HEPA H13 filter, then all good, right?

Not quite.

It’s no good putting an outstanding filter into a system without putting in outstanding seals. All those tiny particles that can’t get through the filter itself will try and get around it through any tiny gaps. The seals have to be up to the job too. The Pure Cordless is tested on a machine level- so not only is our filter HEPA H13 rated, the whole machine is too.

The filter is also fully washable and you should not need to change it. If you happen to break it in some way or the dog eats it, we won’t charge you an arm and a leg to replace.

 Washable HEPA filter

 

Back during our pre-sale campaign we made a demonstration video illustrating some of the points above…

Accept no substitutes. That’s the power of pure.

 

If you are reading this I bet you are wondering…

Do vacuum cleaners capture or spread Coronavirus (Covid 19)?

Well- viruses themselves are smaller than the zone where even HEPA H13 filters are efficient. BUT Covid-19 is often spread by being carried on aerosolized respiratory droplets of infected people. These are much bigger, and containing the spread of those droplets is why face masks of very low efficiency materials are now generally deemed as an effective measure for limiting spread.

There is no data specifically around vacuum cleaners and spreading or capturing Covid-19, but in absence of knowledge its always good to err on the side of caution, and lower grade filters release literally orders of magnitude more particulates through them. We would also advise that all vacuum exhausts have potential to agitate and spread anything floating in the air behind them, as does anything else that moves air like fans, hairdryers etc.

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