Having been a dog owner I’m well aware of what a problem pet dander and pet hair can be for a home – especially if you have small children or an elderly parent living with you. The problem is that the accumulation of pet hair and various other germs pets can carry into your home is virtually inevitable, so you need to be prepared to deal with it. One of the best ways you can do this is by making sure you have a vacuum cleaner with a good filter that’s capable of taking care of most of the germs left behind by pets.

Almost all vacuum cleaners have some kind of filter but, depending on the type of filter they use, you may or may not be getting the best protection for your home and family. The best vacuums now include something called a HEPA filter, which is capable of filtering out a lot more of the germs and allergens than conventional filters can.

No Filter

Unfortunately, some basic robot vacuums don’t have any type of filter at all – in fact they often have no suction process whatsoever. These types of basic cleaners rely on an electrostatic cloth that attaches to the bottom of the machine to collect dust, making them little more than a glorified broom. They may serve as a decent alternative for keeping your floors looking respectable on days when you’re not up to vacuuming, but they will not do anything for you at all in terms of removing germs and allergens left behind on your floors by pets.

Traditional Filters

Traditional vacuum cleaner filters do a pretty decent job of removing dust, dirt, and allergens from the air of your home, but they are far from perfect. Most filters on traditional vacuum cleaners (if they include one at all) will only remove between 90 and 95% of the allergens in your air. That’s not bad, but it could certainly be better. Keep in mind that a vacuum with any kind of filter is better than one without one, as it will improve the air quality in your home.

A Strange Argument for No Filter

Believe it or not there are some experts that actually argue that vacuum cleaners actually release dirt and allergens into your environment even if they have a filter. This is largely due to a vacuum cleaner’s tendency to agitate the dirt on your carpet or floors, releasing it into the environment. But a good vacuum quickly captures everything that it’s released. In fact, some of the top-quality robot vacuum cleaners actually operate with a three-step cleaning process that includes agitation, brushing, and suction. Essentially, the vacuum cleaner is designed to agitate the dirt to make it easier to capture; it then brushes the dirt and germs into the machine, and finishes the process by sucking them into the dustbin. So to say that a vacuum cleaner can actually do more harm than good seems like a bit of an erroneous statement and one I’d take with a grain of salt.

Why Choose a HEPA Filter?

The best type of filter available in vacuum cleaners today is something called a HEPA filter – which stands for high efficiency particulate air. These types of filters will remove at least 99.7% of dust, dirt, allergens, and other germs from your environment. If a vacuum cleaner includes a filter that they describe as being a HEPA filter it has to meet these minimum requirements, or the manufacturer is not permitted to label it as such.

You might think that you have to spend a lot of money to find a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, but they’re becoming more and more common in models in every price range. In fact, we’ve reviewed one affordable model on this site called the Haier SWR-T321 that retails for less than $200 and comes equipped with a HEPA filter – you don’t have to break the bank to keep your family safe from germs.

UV Filtering

Another feature that’s becoming more common on robot vacuum cleaners is the inclusion of a UV light. This light actually kills most of the germs it comes across by attacking them right down at their DNA level. They aren’t technically filters in the truest sense, but I thought it was appropriate to include them in this article as they do accomplish essentially the same thing as a filter.

A Filter Is a Good Idea

In a perfect world everybody should have a vacuum cleaner that includes both a HEPA filter and UV light features – at the very least you should look for a vacuum cleaner with at least one of these options. In the long run, your family’s health will benefit a great deal by filtering out as much of the dust and allergens in your environment as possible.

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