Does Vacuuming Improve Air Quality? 

If you’re looking for a simple way to improve air quality in your house, then you might want to consider vacuuming your place a bit more often.

A high-quality vacuum cleaner that has a sealed system and uses a HEPA filter will help you reduce the number of particulate matter in your house as the device would be filtering the air that passes through it.

How often should you vacuum your floors to improve indoor air quality and how to use a vacuum cleaner the right way? You’ll find all the answers below.

Does Vacuuming Improve Air Quality?

Vacuuming is actually one of the simplest ways to improve indoor air quality. This activity can help you not only keep the floor clean but also reduce the number of irritants in the air that can be causing allergies and asthma symptoms.

How exactly does this process work? Vacuum cleaners suck in the air together with tiny particles. The particles, in their turn, get stuck in the vacuum bag, while the air travels through the bag and a filter. After that, the air gets released back into the room.

But this will be the case only if you have a high-quality vacuum cleaner with great HEPA filters. Cheap devices can actually become a household source of particulate matter which means that vacuuming with such a machine is not only useless but also bad for the overall air quality. 

Read: How To Improve Air Quality In Basement?

Does Vacuuming Reduce Indoor Pollution?

Some vacuum cleaners can increase indoor pollution as they release plenty of fine particles into the air from stirring up dust and the exhaust of the device. To make sure this never happens, pick a device that:

  • Is manufactured by a trustworthy brand – this usually means that the vacuum is not going to be cheap, but the truth is that there is simply no point in buying a low-quality, inexpensive machine that is not going to get the job done
  • Has a ‘sealed system’ – such an indication on the box or the vacuum itself means that the air traveling through the device won’t get leaked until it passes through the filter
  • Uses a HEPA filter – this filter captures particulate matter that is smaller than 10 microns

If there is an unpleasant smell in your house after you have just vacuumed (including the smell of burnt dust), it means that your device is ineffective. The odor is an indication of the fact that the particulate matter is able to leave the vacuum cleaner before it reaches the filter.

How Many Times a Week Should You Vacuum Your House?

So, you’ve bought a good-quality vacuum cleaner and now you’re wondering how often you would have to use the device to keep your house clean.

Typically, hard surface floors have to be vacuumed once a week, while rugs and carpeted floors might require a vacuum at least two times per week

If you live in a dusty area, have pets, or suffer from an allergy, then you might have to vacuum the house more often. 

Read: Ecobee Thermostat Air Quality Problems And Solutions

Is It OK to Vacuum Everyday?

It is totally okay to vacuum every day. In fact, a quick daily vacuuming session can help banish bacteria and maintain your family’s health

If you don’t have enough time to vacuum every single room, then focus on the places where you (and your pets) tend to spend the majority of the time.

Is Vacuuming Once a Month Enough? 

If there are rooms in your house that don’t get used, then you can get away with vacuuming these spaces only once a month. However, any place that gets foot traffic should be vacuumed at least once a week. Otherwise, your carpets and floors would have enough time to accumulate plenty of dust and dirt (and that, in its turn, is going to affect your indoor air quality). 

Read: How Is An Air Quality Test Performed?

What Happens If You Vacuum Too Much?

Some homeowners might think that frequent vacuuming will damage their carpets. That is not exactly true. 

Overall, the majority of carpets can easily withstand being vacuumed several times a week. The dirt that would otherwise get trapped in the carpet could actually cause a lot more harm as it would break down underneath the fibers and become a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites.

Other than that, vacuuming more often than a couple of times per week might simply be too time-consuming. But if you have a few extra minutes, then a quick vacuum will certainly not bring any harm.

Read: 3 Ways How To Improve Air Quality In The Basement?

Is There a Wrong Way to Vacuum?

Vacuuming can help improve indoor air quality only in case you have the right device and you know exactly how to use it. Simply vacuuming your carpets back and forth won’t get the job done. So, make sure you follow these guidelines, the next time you get your vacuum cleaner out:

  • Vacuum from south to north and then – from west to east
  • Always empty the vacuum bag once it’s half-full
  • Use the crevice tool on the edges
  • Adjust the vacuum’s height as you move around the house

Is It Better to Vacuum and Then Dust?

You should always dust before vacuuming. This allows you to vacuum the dust particles that settle on the floor after dusting.

Ideally, you would want to start cleaning from the top of the room to slowly bring all the dust to the floor. Wait for around 15 minutes after before vacuuming and don’t forget to shake the curtains, so that they can dislodge any particles.

Is It Better to Vacuum Fast or Slow?

You should definitely take your time while vacuuming. Going slow will allow the device to suck up a lot more dust.

To remove up to 85% of the particles, move the vacuum in slow, overlapping motions.

At What End of the Room Do You Start Vacuuming?

As a rule of thumb, you should work backward and repeat the process a few times.

Start vacuuming at the end of your room that is farthest from the door. Move from left to right and make sure that the strokes overlap. 

What Time of Day Should You Vacuum?

Air quality-wise it doesn’t really matter when you’re going to be vacuuming the house. However, your area might have set rules and regulations in terms of silent hours.

In general, vacuuming any time between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on any day except for Sundays should be okay. If your neighbors are extremely ‘sensitive’, you might want to consider finishing the cleaning before 9 p.m.

Read: Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?

What Should You Not Vacuum?

Even though getting the vacuum out might seem like the quickest solution to improving air quality and making your house cleaner, there are certain substances that don’t go well with vacuum cleaners:

  • Wet foods
  • Plant debris
  • Fireplace ash
  • Construction dust
  • Liquids
  • Makeup
  • Soil
  • Shredded paper

Should You Vacuum Your Bed?

It’s a great idea to vacuum your mattress once a month or so. Use the upholstery attachment to get rid of dander and dust buildup in your bed and, potentially, improve your quality of sleep.

Why Vacuuming Is Not Enough?

Vacuuming is definitely something that you should do to keep your house nice and clean, but this kind of activity is going to remove the dirt and dust only from the surface of the carpet. 

Moreover, vacuuming cannot remove the majority of stains and odors, so having your carpets and furniture deep-cleaned on an annual basis would still be necessary. 

How Can I Improve the Air Quality in My House?

Cleaning your house (vacuuming included) would help a lot in improving the air quality in the house. But you also shouldn’t forget to:

  • Check the HVAC filters
  • Use cooking vents
  • Control the humidity in the house

Conclusion

Vacuuming really can improve indoor air quality as long as you have a high-quality device and know exactly how to use it. Unfortunately, cheap vacuum cleaners can actually increase air pollution, so getting a machine with a sealed system and a HEPA filter is a must.