Cleaning the household on a regular basis (preferably weekly) and using dust mite encasementsare two of the most important actions that can be taken in suppressing dust mites and their allergens. Vacuuming is at once productive and also aggravating. Expelled air from vacuums stirs up house dust, making allergies worse during cleaning. It is advised that persons hypersensitive to mite allergens recruit another person to perform housecleaning duties. At the very least, allergic persons should wear a mask while vacuuming.
The most important component of vacuums for persons sensitive to dust mites and their allergens is the bag. Conventional bags fail to trap mites and mite allergens because the pores in the bags are large enough for mites and their fecal pellets to pass through. At minimum, use two bags, one nested inside the other. A special micro-filter bag on a conventional vacuum is even better. Ideally, consider specialized vacuum cleaners.
Vacuums with filters that are charged with static electricity help to hold dust particles, preventing their escape into the vacuum’s exhaust, but there is widespread disagreement on their effectiveness regarding dust mites and dust mite fecal pellets.
The most effective vacuum cleaners for use in dust mite control are those that employ HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. These are not inexpensive machines, but considering the misery of allergies it could be well worth contemplating. Unfortunately, there are few choices. Nilfisk and Miele canister vacuums, and Fantom upright machines are among the best according to some sources. Regardless of your brand preference, you should look for the following features:
Pre-filter that traps larger particles and keeps them from clogging the HEPA filter.
The HEPA filter is located behind the motor to insure dust-free exhaust.
A washable, re-usable HEPA filter
Rubber gasket seals around the entire bag and motor assembly to prevent leakage.
Some experts recommend central vacuum systems, if feasible, as the best alternative because dust and exhaust can be discharged away from living quarters entirely (such as into receptacles in the garage or basement, or even outdoors). They are often HEPA filter-compatible, and conventional bags and filters need only be changed every 3-4 months.
There is no real alternative to vacuuming when it comes to carpeting, but you might consider damp-cleaning other surfaces, especially furniture. A damp cloth will hold dust particles better, and not stir nearly as much dust as vacuum exhaust. Mops are a great alternative for tile and linoleum floors.