Although people generally think of carpets at the mention of vacuuming, it is not only carpets that need regular cleaning when it comes to allergy sufferers. For these people, it is the dust and mites that collect everywhere in the home, that can play up havoc with their breathing!

In other words, it is vitally important to vacuum all surfaces, including bare and carpeted floors, to prevent dust from collecting. However, it is essential to know just how to vacuum, in order to do the job properly. The best place to start being, to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters, which does a great job of getting rid of allergy triggers like dust, mould, and dust mites.

Following are several effective vacuuming tips for allergy sufferers.

With the amount of vacuuming you will be doing; it is important that your machine is functioning well.

• Make sure that the bag is empty – replace the bag if it is full, and if you have a bagless machine check this too. Suction efficiency is impacted if bins and bags are full.
• Check that the brush bar is free from debris – remove any hair wrapped around the brush bar, or large pieces of debris, as these won’t only affect your machine’s ability to vacuum, but it could also put unnecessary strain on the motor, and damage it. (ensure the vacuum is unplugged from a power source before any maintenance is undertaken.)
• Have the proper attachments on hand – if you are going to be doing a thorough clean, then make sure that you have all the necessary attachments close by. It will waste time if you must stop each time to fetch the brush for cleaning ceiling fans, or the proper attachment for cleaning upholstery.

Once you have established that your cleaner is ready for use, then check for any large pieces of debris and remove them, to prevent your machine from getting clogged up or putting a strain on the motor.

Vacuum cleaning tips for allergy sufferers include:

• Make sure to vacuum edges, corners, and skirting boards with the crevice attachment.
• If you have stairs in your home, then start by cleaning the edges and corners with the crevice attachment. Don’t forget to clean the skirting boards, if any, as well as the vertical sections of the stairs – you might need a smaller, moveable vacuuming tool for this.
• Use slow movements when vacuuming, so that the machine can suck up the dust properly, as well as any pet hair, should you have animals in your home.
• Move the cleaner at least four times across each area so that allergens and microscopic particles are also sucked up.
• Don’t press down on the cleaner, because this will cause your carpets pile to become matted, and the machine will not be able to suck up the dirt.
• Move in all directions to do an exceptional clean; if you have gone from north to south, then go east to west as well.
• It might be a good idea to use a liquid cleaner, specially designed to trap allergens that stick to the fibres of a carpet. Special powders are also available that are effective for killing and cleaning dust mites and other allergens from carpets and upholstery.

Why is regular vacuuming important?
Most allergens flourish in homes where they can multiply and grow to numbers beyond those typically found outside. House dust is an excellent example of these types of allergens, and is composed of a range of materials, such as organic clothing fibres, dead skin cells, dirt, or pollen from outside, some types of soil, and of course, house dust mites.

House dust mites are minute and cannot be seen with the naked eye. If left unchecked, the levels of dust mites in the home increases rapidly, causing unnecessary suffering to those with allergy problems.

The only way to keep the levels of house dust mites at bay effectively, is to give a good, thorough vacuuming on a regular basis. This is not only important where carpets are concerned, but also bare floors and every other area of the home where these mites could possibly thrive and multiply.

• Rugs and carpets should be vacuumed at least once each week
• Mattresses, curtains, and upholstered furniture a few times a week
• Bedrooms and high-traffic areas at least twice each week
• Vacuuming should be done even more often if there are pets in the home

It is highly recommended for allergy sufferers to give their homes a good vacuuming twice a week if at all possible. It is also extremely important to vacuum those areas where dust and dust bunnies tend to collect. In other words, if dust could collect there, vacuum it!