Yes, vacuums can play a significant role in improving indoor air quality — but only insofar as they are well maintained. For this reason, distributors should include a review of routine preventative maintenance tasks as part of their “cleaning for health” message.

“Cleaning and replacing the filters in your vacuums is the single most important thing one can do to keep the filtration at optimal performance, but it is often the simplest, most overlooked solution,” says Moody.

In addition to checking filters, users should check brush rolls to make sure they are free of hair, string or debris, and wipe the inside of the dirt cup to ensure top performance, says Quinn. Custodians should also be trained to check the vacuum bag before and after each use to make sure it is secure, and replace or empty it when necessary.

Steinberg encourages customers to keep track of their hours of use to ensure that the motor brushes — if applicable — are replaced per the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

“Above all, training is vital to ensure users follow all safety requirements and know how to use the equipment properly,” says Steinberg.

Kassandra Kania is a freelancer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a frequent contributor to Sanitary Maintenance.

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