According to an April 2021 report from Mintel, a global market research company, end user consumers who are cleaning more often cite protection against germs and viruses as their top reason for increased cleaning frequency. The same is true of cleaning practices in the workplace.

Once neglected or overlooked, floors are now being judged with critical eyes. As a result, regular vacuuming can boost a facility’s overall image and convey the message that the health and wellbeing of building occupants and visitors is top of mind.

“We focus on how our vacuums can positively impact the health of building occupants, improve the health and ergonomics of users, and ultimately benefit a company’s bottom line,” says Rich Steinberg, vice president of sales for ProTeam Inc., St. Louis. “We also address the power of our filtration system and why this is important to both the building occupants and the cleaning workers.”

According to Steinberg, today more than ever, indoor air quality is on the minds of facility executives — and good filtration is critical to ensure excellent air quality. For this reason, distributors are advised to emphasize the importance of filtration when promoting vacuum cleaners.

“Capturing and removing particulates from a building is part of our ‘cleaning for health’ message, and to do this effectively, filtration is key,” says Steinberg. “High-efficiency vacuums with multiple levels of filtration and HEPA media are essential to maintain a facility because they capture microscopic dust. A proper filtration system also helps prevent allergens and asthma triggers from being reintroduced into the air around the operator.”

Needless to say, not all vacuums are created equal, which is why distributors need to educate customers and prospects about filtration efficiency and ensure that equipment has documented, third-party filtration data.

Make sure you look at the HEPA rating, because there’s a difference between a true HEPA filter and a HEPA-rated filter,” notes Shull. “A true HEPA filter has a 99.97 percent efficiency rate at capturing particles at the level of 0.3 microns. These types of vacuums filter air at the very last stage, as it’s blowing off the vacuum motor.”

Distributors should discuss the types and levels of filtration and their benefits with customers at length prior to choosing the right machine for their vacuuming needs.

There are two main types of vacuums: Ones that collect dirt in a cup and exhaust through a filter (bagless), and ones where the direct collection bag also acts as a filter (bagged).

“Bags typically come in a variety of filtration levels and have the added benefit of the user being able to dispose of the dirt without having to handle it,” says Patrick Quinn, senior director of engineering for TTI Floor Care North America in Charlotte, North Carolina. “In addition, with a new bag, the vacuum returns to a ‘like new’ performance level.”

A high-quality filtration system not only traps fine particles that trigger asthma and allergies but also helps custodians vacuum more efficiently — another positive selling point for distributors.

“If you have a vacuum that has strong performance and good filtration, it will clean on the first pass, reducing rework for the staff and saving time and money,” says Tollefson-Frampton. “Filtration ensures that the dust and debris you’re vacuuming doesn’t exit the vacuum.”

She adds that a visual demonstration of a filter’s capabilities can be an effective sales strategy for distributors.

“To convey the importance of proper filtration, show customers the dust and debris that collects in the vacuum,” says Tollefson-Frampton. “You can also physically demonstrate what happens if you have a poor quality filter or the bag is torn or overfilled.”

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