How Certifications Help Guide Your Vacuum Selection

Has it been a while since you’ve had to replace a vacuum? Or, maybe you’re new to purchasing cleaning and sanitation equipment.

Whatever the case, it’s hard to differentiate all the choices available. While certifications in some niches can serve as moneymakers for the certifying organization more than anything else, they do help with your decision making when it comes to choosing the right vacuum.

With vacuums, the leading (and highly credible) organizations are LEED, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), and the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA).

1. Highest Level of Certification: Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America

To be certified by the AAFA, a vacuum must have CRI’s highest level of certification (gold), and meet HEPA system standards. The AAFA also puts the vacuum through a series of rigorous tests that actually prove it reduces allergens and asthma causing irritants. The vacuum must also provide increased environmental control versus others, and must withstand routine cleaning.

If a vacuum comes AAFA certified, you can bet it’s as good as vacuums get. You can learn more about the AAFA’s certification, called the “Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification” at their website.

2. CRI Seal of Approval

This certification, just mentioned in the previous point as part of the AAFA’s certification, comes in three levels: gold, silver, and bronze. Here’s what each level requires:

  • Gold: 55% of soil removed from carpets with less than 35 micrograms of dust emitted per cubic meter of air
  • Silver: 50%/must emit less than 100 mcg
  • Bronze: 40-49%/must emit less than 100 mcg

CRI offers a detailed explanation of its certification and exactly what it means at its website.

3. LEED Green Cleaning Certification

Also based on the CRI certification, a vacuum must have a CRI gold rating and emit less than 70 decibels of sound when operating to become LEED certified.

LEED has a much more cryptic website than most, but you get plenty of detail on their certification and what it’s all about here.

So now, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the vacuum you’re about to buy. These certifications help you understand which vacuums rock and will accomplish the purpose you hope for.

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