Category Archives: Central Vacuums

HOW TO IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN YOUR HOME

VACUFLO fam 307x250As temperatures and humidity outside plummet, constantly heated indoor air can wreak havoc, drying your skin, hair and nasal passages. That can create a breeding ground for seasonal viruses and irritate respiratory systems. Keep you indoor winter air healthier this year:

  • Try to keep your home temperature no higher than 68°F. Adjust your thermostat to lower temperatures at night. A cooler temperature of 64 or 65°F makes for better sleeping and less open-mouthed breathing due to dried out nasal passages.
  • On milder days, open a window briefly on each floor of your home to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Have ductwork cleaned every few years to remove dust and debris collecting there, which recirculates through the home.
  • If your furnace does not have a humidifier setting on it, you can improve humidity levels by placing a pan of water near heat registers. Also, fill your teakettle and heat it until it releases steam into the air for a few minutes. Cool mist room humidifiers can be helpful for people suffering with colds or allergies.

Keep indoor, air-borne irritants to a minimum. A central vacuum system is the most effective method for removing dust and allergens completely from your home environment. In contrast with a standard vacuum cleaner, which can recirculate dust and allergens back into the air, a central vacuum uses powerful suction to remove virtually all dirt and transport it through a system of in-the-wall tubing to a sealed container away from living spaces, such as in a basement, closet or garage. You can have an authorized installer easily retrofit your home with a central vacuum system with minimum disruption to your home.

DEALING WITH ANIMAL DANDER

family with dog 500x300Dander is made up of the minute scales from fur, hair, feathers or skin of animals. Every animal’s dander is different, which is why some people can tolerate dogs but not cats and vice versa. Most people with allergic reactions to animal dander are responding to dog or cat dander, but dander from birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, horses and many other animals can also cause problems, depending on the individual’s sensitivity. Sneezing, itchy and/or watery eyes, sinus congestion and even difficulty breathing can be caused by dander allergy. Dander is sticky and can survive for months in an environment. It attaches itself to dust.

There is no such thing as a true hypoallergenic animal, but some breeds of dogs do seem to cause fewer allergic problems than others. People with dander allergies can safely keep pets without fur or feathers, such as turtles, snakes or fish. But if you have someone in the home with a dander allergy who simply cannot give up their beloved creature, there are strategies you can follow to keep symptoms at a minimum.

  • Keep animals out of the bedroom at all times, and create other pet-free zones in the home.
  • Change the filters in your furnace and air conditioning frequently.
  • Consider removing carpets and replacing them with tile, wood, or vinyl flooring. Wash throw rugs in hot water frequently.
  • Use blinds instead of drapes, especially in bedrooms.
  • Wash hands after handling animals, and never hold the animal close to the face.
  • Launder bedding in hot water to remove dander that may travel into the bedroom on clothes or shoes.
  • Use portable air purifiers in the home.
  • Feed pets high quality pet food and consider a coat supplement. Both efforts will reduce shedding and increased flaking of dander from the pet.
  • Vacuum frequently with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. For best results, invest in a central vacuum system. Unlike traditional vacuum cleaners, which re-circulate some of the dander and irritants back into the home environment, a central vacuum system will remove virtually all contaminants through the hose and into behind-the-wall tubes which lead to a sealed container away from living space, such as the basement, garage, or even a closet. This unit can then be easily emptied by a non-allergic member of the household.

CLEANING PROBLEM PET ZONES

collie dogPets add immeasurable joy and companionship to our lives—good thing, because they sure make a lot of mess. I have found a nifty solution to some of those messes, like tracked-in leaves and dirt, spilled pet food, tumbleweeds of shed fur, stray litter around the cat box, and other miscellaneous debris created by pets:

Spot by Vroom is a flexible, 15’ long hose that lives in your wall and hooks directly to your central vacuum system. You can place one in your messiest zones, like the laundry room/pet room/mud room and pull out the Spot whenever you need a speedy cleanup. The hose automatically retracts back into the wall when you’re finished. There are also special attachments you can buy for Spot—even one that grooms your dog!

Save time messing around with a broom and dust pan or lugging out a vacuum cleaner. Spot is right at your fingertips. Also perfect for powdered detergent spills; lint screens; dust bunnies behind, between and underneath appliances and cabinets; small messes in hobby rooms or workshops. You’ll find a hundred uses for this handy little gadget that hides away when you don’t need it and appears in a flash when you do.

Don’t have a central vacuum system? You can retrofit your home with a central vacuum system in less than a day, and you won’t know how you lived without it.

WEIGHING THE FACTS: WHAT’S THE BEST VACUUM CLEANER?

VACUFLO fam 307x250I remember a time when shopping for household items didn’t used to be so complicated. Certain brand names could be relied upon, or you bought what your mother always used. Today, the marketplace is saturated with a proliferation of products offering a dizzying range of pricing, quality and features.

When buying even a toaster can boggle the mind, how to choose a much-used appliance like a vacuum cleaner, which can make a significant impact not only on the cleanliness of your home, but the health of your whole family?

While every household will have unique cleaning needs, weigh these facts when considering what kind of vacuum system you want to purchase:

  • EFFECTIVENESS: Traditional vacuum cleaners remove only a portion of the dust and dirt in your home. The rest is re-circulated in the air. That “just vacuumed” smell is actually the result of particles that have been kicked up into your indoor environment, explaining why many people sneeze a lot after vacuuming. A central vacuum system, on the other hand, suctions all of the dirt from your home and transports it into a central source located away from living spaces, such as in a basement, closet or garage. This level of effectiveness is especially critical if someone in the household suffers from dust allergies, asthma, or any kind of respiratory difficulties.
  • EASE OF USE: Central vacuum system owners love the easy operation of a system like VACUFLO. No more lugging heavy, awkward equipment around furniture or up stairs—a bonus for people with back or knee problems or mobility issues. Just attach the end of the hose to a central vacuum outlet positioned in several convenient locations throughout your home, and sweep. It’s quieter than a traditional vacuum cleaner, too—you can even carry on a conversation without yelling!
  • COST: Certainly the initial cost of a central vacuum system will be higher than a traditional vacuum cleaner. Long term, however, you might be surprised at the economic sense of installing a central vacuum system that will last many years, offer superior cleaning and ease of use, and increase the value of your home.
  • RETURN ON INVESTMENT : A central vacuum system like VACUFLO increases the value of your home and sets it apart from others, making it more appealing to prospective buyers should you ever decide to sell. The increasing number of people who suffer from allergies or asthma, especially, will immediately recognize the value of a home equipped with a central vacuum system.

VACUFLO®, DIRT DEVIL® AND ELEMENT CENTRAL VACUUM SYSTEMS

Creating a clean and healthy home environment is important for homeowners. The EPA has identified indoor air pollution as one of America’s most serious environmental health problems. The American College of Allergists also reports that 50% of all illnesses are caused by, or aggravated by, polluted indoor air. No wonder indoor air is one of the top priorities for today’s homebuyers.

With up to five times the suction and power of uprights, Vacuflo®, Dirt Devil® and Element Central Vacuum Systems capture 100% of all vacuumed dirt, dust, odors and allergens. After vacuuming with most uprights it is typical to smell odors and see dust particles reflected in the sunlight. Traditional vacuums spread these particles and allergens around your home and recirculate them into the air you breathe. The power of Vacuflo®, Dirt Devil® and Element central vacuums eliminates these odors and dust particles for a cleaner home and cleaner air.

The Cyclonic Filtration Technology® of Vacuflo®, Dirt Devil® and Element central vacuums creates a powerful centrifugal force that separates the dirt from the airflow and deposits 96-98% of all debris into a remote dirt canister. The remaining fine particles are then exhausted outside or caught in a high-performance filter, depending on the model.

 

“UNDER” CLEANING: HIDDEN DUST

It’s the hidden dust that can confound even the most regular cleaning routine—those hard-to-reach places like:

  • under and behind the refrigerator, stove and other large appliances
  • under beds
  • tops of cabinets
  • high woodwork
  • corners and tight spots
  • fan blades
  • computers and small electronics
  • mini-blinds

Traditional dusting methods tend to simply move the dust around these areas, if it can be reached at all. Vacuuming can be effective, but only if you have the right vacuum system and accessories. As far as versatility and cleaning power, your best bet is a central vacuum system. Check out these handy accessories that will help you conquer even the trickiest dust-collecting spots in your home:

  • The Spider Fighter is not only great for capturing those pesky insects further than an arm length away, but it also great to tackle ceilings, crown molding, baseboards, between appliance and much more.
  • You’ll appreciate the Mini-Tools Set for cleaning keyboards, computers, stereos, sewing machines and more. Each attachment connects to any central vacuum hose and includes hose connector and adapter, extension wand, curved extension wand, oval brush, round brush and crevice tool.
  • The Dust Mop Tool captures and removes dust and dirt from all hard-surface floors, especially in those hard-to-reach places. Dirt and dust trapped deep in crevices is easily lifted away by vacuuming power as the fluffy mop head gently dusts and polishes your flooring to a clean, shiny finish.
  • Nineteen height positions make the one-piece Deluxe Adjustable Wand the perfect companion for all Vacuflo central vacuum accessories. Fully extended, the wand reaches 40-1/2″ and features the Button-down Clip to easily release the wand from the hose. Makes cleaning high-up woodwork and ceiling corners a breeze. Also handy for extending your vacuuming reach into odd corners and small spaces, as well as drapery cleaning attachments.

CENTRAL VACUUMS ARE THE GREEN CHOICE

Today’s environmentally conscious homeowners, like me, are demanding and getting improved energy efficiency, better indoor air quality and smarter use of building materials. These “green” building initiatives not only protect the environment, but also improve comfort and boost home value.

Central vacuum systems have a unique role to play in “green” homes. By removing 100% of vacuumed dirt and dust, they ensure healthy indoor air and reduce the discomfort of allergy sufferers by more than 60%. Central vacuum systems also offer these benefits:

Improved Indoor Air Quality
Central vacuum systems can help improve indoor air quality by capturing 100% of all vacuumed dirt, dust and allergens with no recirculation of particles back into the living area.

family with dog 500x300

All you discard is the dust
Unlike uprights, which are often discarded after only a few years, central vacuum systems keep up worry-free cleaning for decades.

No additional electricity
Central vacuum systems like Vacuflo®, Element and Dirt Devil® offer turbine-powered powerheads. Turbines run off the airflow of your central vacuum system so they require no additional electricity to operate.

Earn Points with Central Vacuums
Organizations like Earth Advantage®, and the US Green Building Council with its LEED®, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System are providing standards and certification to ensure that best practices are followed across the country.

Central vacuum systems earn 1 point in the LEED-H standard and 3 points in the NAHB Green Building Standard.

THE FINE ART OF FLOOR CLEANING

Installing laminate flooringWood, laminate, vinyl, slate, tile, or carpet—the choices available in flooring style are dizzying. Each contributes its own brand of beauty and function to the home, but they all share something in common when it comes to keeping them looking new: frequent vacuuming with a quality system.

Did you know that one of the most important things you can do to maintain the life of your floor, no matter what it’s made of, is frequent vacuuming? It’s true. Dirt, grit, even dust break down fibers of carpets and create wear and tear on floor finishes, too. Even if you can’t see the dirt, if your vacuum cleaner has left behind a deposit of fine grit, or you don’t vacuum frequently, carpets and floor surfaces will age much faster, resulting in earlier replacement, not to mention floors that look worn or dingy. A central vacuum system picks up virtually all of the dirt on your floors and deposits it into a sealed container away from your living spaces; it’s the best choice for most effective cleaning.

Always vacuum thoroughly before cleaning any hard surface floor. This will not only allow for a cleaner floor but prevent scratching from scrubbing or buffing if dirt particles are left behind.

Consult your manufacturer for specific products and techniques when cleaning different types of hard surface floors. Use as little water as possible, and dry quickly and thoroughly, especially laminate floors. A fan is effective if hand drying with towels is difficult or impractical.

Vinyl floors are the easiest to clean and maintain—just vacuum and damp mop for routine cleaning, and use a damp sponge with dish soap for spills and messes. A nylon scouring pad will lift heel marks and scuffs. For more thorough cleaning, all-purpose cleaner applied with a sponge mop is fine for no-wax floors. If the floor looks like it has a filmy residue after cleaning, just mop with white vinegar and wipe down with clean water on a sponge to restore shine.

At the other end of the spectrum, wood floors require the most care, but some homeowners swear by their superior beauty and durability. Water should never be used on wood floors, except those treated with polyurethane. Pros say the best way to clean a wood floor is also the most time consuming. After first vacuuming, apply a small amount of liquid wood floor cleaner with a soft cloth, rubbing it into a small portion of the wood floor. Wipe away the excess, then move onto the next section. When the floor is dry, buff with a floor polisher. Use care with wood floor cleaners, and use only in well-ventilated areas, because they are combustible.

WHY A CENTRAL VACUUM SYSTEM?

There are many reasons why I chose a central vacuum system for my home. Below are just some of them!

Healthier Home – Improves Indoor Air
100% of all vacuumed dirt, dust and allergens are removed from the living area, creating a cleaner, healthier home environment with improved indoor air quality.

Prevents debris and odors from recirculating back into the home.

Great for those suffering from allergies, asthma and other breathing ailments.

Powerful, Sustained Cleaning Performance
Central vacuum systems are up to 5 times the power of traditional vacuums – great for pet owners like me!

Cyclonic cleaning performance from central vacuums like Vacuflo®, Element and Dirt Devil® provides maximum airflow and optimum cleaning power to keep a home clean and fresh.

High-performance motors deliver powerful, reliable cleaning so upholstery, carpets and furnishings are cleaned more deeply with less wear.

Convenient Whole-House Cleaning
A whole-house cleaning system, my central vacuum does the job of an upright vacuum, canister vacuum, dust buster and even a shop vac.

No heavy equipment to lug around, just plug the hose into the nearest inlet valve for fast and easy cleaning.

Value and Versatility
A central vacuum system extends life of carpets and furnishings, increases a home’s resale value, improves indoor air quality, and saves time.

Central vacuums costs less than many high-end portable vacuums, and offers a wide variety of accessories designed to clean all interior furnishings, carpet types and floor surfaces found in today’s homes.

Simple Installation and Quieter Units
Easily installed during construction (or in existing homes), and typically is completed in less than one day.

Power unit is located away from the living area (usually in a basement, garage or utility room) for a quieter home environment.

 

FRESHEN UP THE HOUSE FOR FALL

falling leavesAs cold weather approaches and living spaces are sealed tight against the elements, it’s even more important to reduce levels of indoor air pollution for the sake of your health and comfort. Here are some simple ways to freshen up your home for fall.

  • Fluff up curtains and draperies in your dryer on a low setting.If you have a steam setting, even better. You’ll be amazed at the dust that accumulates in the lint trap when you remove them. Add a dryer sheet as they tumble around to lend the drapes a subtle fragrance after you rehang them.
  • Wash, dry clean, fluff or replace decorative pillows, throws, table runners and tablecloths.These items tend to attract unseen dust and dust mites over time, which can aggravate allergies or asthma in sensitive people who eat or nap near them. A new season offers an opportunity to spruce up your home décor inexpensively with the fresh colors and textures of decorative fabrics, so consider replacing them altogether.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture, even on the undersides, if possible.This will help keep dust and mites at bay, especially if you own a central vacuum system. Don’t forget the nooks and crannies; use a wand tool to vacuum between cushions.
  • Clean out clothes closets.Coats and other clothing that hang unworn for long periods of time are simply gathering dust. Purge unwanted items for donation, then vacuum the floors of your closet and dust any shelves inside. Hang sachets of herbs, such as lavender or sage, for a pleasant fragrance that will help repel moths.