HEPA Vacuum to Remove and Prevent Mold
Regularly vacuuming your home with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner helps to reduce allergic reactions to mold and prevent mold growing in the home.
Vacuums with HEPA filters remove at least 99.97% of the particles in a room that are 0.3 micrometers large and remove an even higher percentage of other sized particles (mold spores are about 1-20 micrometers in size).
When you vacuum with a non-HEPA vacuum cleaner most mold spores pass through the filtration, out the exhaust and back into the air, as they are too small for ordinary filters to trap them.
But when you vacuum with a HEPA vacuum cleaner mold spores are caught by the HEPA filter and kept inside the vacuum. This is why vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum is one of the best ways to reduce the number of mold spores in your home which are the cause of mold allergies.
HEPA Vacuums Help With Allergies
Besides reducing mold spores, HEPA vacuums also remove other types of allergens from the home which could be causing you to suffer allergic reactions. For example, pollen and dust mite feces.
It’s best to vacuum your home at least once a week with a HEPA vacuum cleaner to minimize the amount of mold spores and other allergens in the air. Not only will less mold spores in your home’s air reduce allergic reactions but it will also reduce the chances of mold growing in your home. Mold Symptoms describes the symptoms which mold and allergies cause.
HEPA Vacuums in Mold Removal and Remediation
Besides being a great help in minimizing mold spores in the home through regular vacuuming, HEPA vacuum cleaners are also vital during the mold removal and remediation process.
If you have found mold in your home, after removing the mold growth the final stage should be to vacuum the room with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. This will vacuum up any mold spores stirred up during the mold removal process. Surfaces where the mold was growing should also be HEPA vacuumed, if practical, to remove any residual mold particles.
For more about mold removal and remediation and the role of HEPA vacuum cleaners during the process, visit the Mold Removal and Remediation page.
Buying a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner
If you want to purchase a HEPA vacuum cleaner you can expect to pay about $300 for a good HEPA vacuum. The HEPA filters in HEPA vacuums have ratings such as H10 or H14 based on the percentage of microscopic particles they can trap. The vacuum with the higher number filter rating is usually more expensive but should also be able to remove more microscopic particles, such as allergens, from your home.
Non-HEPA Vacuum Cleaners and Mold
If your vacuum cleaner is not HEPA filtered it probably won’t remove many of the mold spores in your home, apart from a small number of mold spores which might be stuck to dust. In fact, vacuuming with a non-HEPA vacuum can stir up even more mold spores into the air of the home, as mold spores which get sucked up into the vacuum pass right through it and out the exhaust. This is why you should never vacuum over a patch of mold growth using a non-HEPA vacuum.
HEPA Vacuum Cleaners and Mycotoxins
Although HEPA filters remove mold spores from the air they aren’t effective at filtering the mycotoxins produced by toxic mold. Central vacuum systems can help to remove some of the mycotoxins from a home if the air is exhausted outside the house. However most of the mycotoxins in materials such as carpet will remain embedded even after vacuuming. There is no way to remove all the mycotoxins from carpets and so carpet that has been in an environment with mycotoxins should be removed and replaced.