If I want to use a vacuum for day cleaning: How quiet does it need to be?

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification requires that a vacuum be under 70 dBA in order to qualify for the IEQ credit. This should be sufficient for most schools and hospitals. In facilities where peace and quiet are critical, a vacuum with two modes can be used, a power mode for after hours cleaning, and a quiet mode that runs at just 51 dBA for daytime. A normal conversation is around 67 dBA, so these vacuums are practically invisible to building occupants.

— Jacalyn High, director of marketing, ProTeam, Boise, Idaho

At minimum, day cleaning operations require quiet, commercial-strength vacuums that operate below 70 decibels, so staff can clean day and night with less impact on the workers around them.  

— David Parkes, general manager, Sanitaire, Charlotte, N.C.

This is dependent on the facility that is being cleaned. Every facility that goes to day cleaning wants a lower sound level, which all manufacturers are striving to achieve. The challenge is the trade off, since reducing sound levels also reduces cleaning effectiveness of the vacuum cleaner; in most cases, small motors and reduced air flow are required to achieve needed sound levels for day cleaning.

— Brad Nyholm, product manager: commercial/dealer for Hoover/Royal Brands, TTI Floorcare North America, Glenwillow, Ohio

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Tips For Vacuuming Frequencies and Machine Maintenance