Increasing interest in day cleaning has drawn attention to low-decibel vacuums as a way to minimize disruption of building occupants. Backpack models measure roughly 50 decibels — compared to their 70-decibel upright counterparts — but they also carry a heaftier price tag.

While this quiet technology is attractive, low-decibel vacuums are priced as much as 20 percent higher than traditional models. However, cleaners can still make a case for low-decibel vacuums. These machines have fewer moving parts and no beater bars, so vacuums wont break down as often, helping to save on costly repairs and replacement parts. These vacuums are also safer for janitors. OSHA requires workers who are exposed to constant noise above 80 decibels to wear ear protection.