CASE STUDY: Low-decibel Vacuums Help Keep College Campus Quiet
Typically when administrators take steps to make their facilities cleaner and healthier for building users, they select cleaning chemicals that have been green-certified. As to cleaning equipment, they look for machines that have met certain standards and criteria, ensuring that the use of these machines are effective while still having a reduced impact on health and the indoor environment.
However, something that is often overlooked, but can definitely negatively impact indoor environmental quality, is noise. And let's face it: some cleaning equipment can be noisy.
This was a major problem at Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland. When investigating their indoor noise problem, the college expected the cafeteria, student union building, or outdoor construction to be the main noise sources on campus. However, administrators soon discovered that the biggest noise generators were the vacuum cleaners used to clean the campus’ buildings.
Some vacuum cleaners are as loud as 95 decibels, which is an equivalent sound level of a subway train speeding through the tunnel. And regular exposure to noise levels over 95 decibels can cause hearing loss.
To rectify this problem, college administrators replaced their old noisemakers with Tornado’s CV30 HEPA filter upright vacuum cleaner. The CV30 operates at only 66 decibels, which is about as loud as normal conversation.
The CV30 was engineered for low-noise operation because it was designed originally for use in hotels and for housekeepers that may use a vacuum cleaner eight or more hours per day. A loud vacuum cleaner can be bothersome to hotel guests and may also impact the health and morale of housekeepers. In order to make the machine “Whisper Quiet,” as it is called, Tornado installed quieter, yet still powerful, motors and then took the additional step of adding soundproofing insulation.
“College kids have enough distractions on campus,” says a sales manager for Tornado. “We’re glad our CV30 can help minimize at least one of them.”