In addition to weighing the features and benefits of vacuums, Uselman encourages BSCs to consider who will be using the equipment before making a purchase. The abilities of the people using the vacuum should be taken into account when choosing the size and type of vacuum. 

“Comfort, weight and ergonomics become especially important for programs using a team-cleaning concept as these workers might be using the vacuum for extended times versus zone cleaning programs,” he explains. 

Maintenance, parts and accessories should also be considered before purchasing new equipment. Vacuums that are serviced regularly will last longer out in the field. 

“It’s not just the cost of the vacuum, but it’s also important to factor in the costs of common replacement parts, such as switches, accessories, hoses and filter bags,” says Uselman. 

When it comes to maintenance schedules, Sawchuk recommends following manufacturer guidelines. 

“Following the manufacturer instructions as to regular maintenance, including dealing with the filters and bags, can extend the life of the vacuum and thereby improve the ROI (return on investment),” he says. “BSCs should ensure staff is educated about these recommendations and are comfortable following them.” 

In the end, experts agree that BSCs should consider procedures, protocols and frequencies when shopping for new vacuum equipment. Those products selected should contribute to a strong cleaning program that focuses on creating a healthy environment. 

“Cleaning for health — not hygiene theatrics — is what most people today recognize as proper cleaning,” says Sawchuk. “Consider products that provide the best experience for the occupants, but still provide the level of service the decisionmaker is after.” 

The best way to achieve this is to perform a facility audit. Determine what needs to be cleaned, when, and how often.  

“Know the type of work — a lot of elevators, plenty of stairs and stairwells, a lot of carpeting in large areas with chairs and tables, etc.,” says Sawchuk. “Know the types of surfaces and how many of each, types and load of soils, traffic patterns in the building, etc. And be sure to seek input and suggestions from staff.”    

Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelance writer from Long Beach, California. 

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Indoor Air Quality Factors to Consider When Choosing Vacuums