So what is NOT important for an allergy vacuum? Watts – that only tells you how much energy a vacuum cleaner uses. The Water lift (a sealed suction rating) – that only is important for removal of larger particulates such as visible dirt or sand. Since people are surprised at that assertion, just think about it for a moment. Allergens are very tiny particulates.
The Air Flow (CFM) rating is the most important vacuum cleaner feature. More airflow – you pull out the allergens from your bedding, carpets and upholstery faster and it will penetrate better to the deeper part of the carpet. Here is the nasty thing about air flow ratings (it happens in air cleaners too). For the specifications to be “real/actual” they should be measured at the end of the hose. Pretty much most vacuum cleaner manufacturers give you the measurement before the hose is put on. The type of hose and length of hose, or even if attachment is used does make difference in actual performance. We are trying to test out actual CFM performance and will let you know when we have those figures. So just remember it is AIR FLOW you need.
Your second very important specification is whether the hepa filter is positioned after the motor and is in a sealed unit in the vacuum. So think for a moment what use is a hepa filter if all the air is not pushed into the hepa filter and it just finds its way around the filter and out into the open air? BTW, this is the same problem with a lot of air cleaners. Their efficiency rating is terrible. In other words, particulate laden air goes in a machine and it only filters out about 70% of the allergens – the other half leak out. We have some very interesting data on our recent tests on air cleaners – we will let you know them soon.