Monday, May 19, 2014

Are Backpack Vacuums More Thorough?

This article was originally published in ISSA.

While few people question that backpacks can speed up vacuuming, many cleaning contractors wonder if this advancement comes at the expense of effectiveness. This issue was evaluated several years ago in an older study that is still considered credible and of value today. In fact, because so many backpack systems have been improved since the study was conducted in 1997, it is possible the results today might even be better.*

The researchers at QUEST (Quality Environmental Services & Technologies) sprinkled 100 grams of soil onto a 36-square-foot commercial-grade carpet. The soil was worked into the carpet using a carpet rake. The areas were then vacuumed using a two-motor upright and a backpack. After vacuuming, QUEST researchers calculated the percentage of soil removed from the carpets by weighing the filter bags. The results were:
  • The upright removed between 87.9 and 94.9 percent
  • The backpack removed between 91.3 and 96.1 percent.
While not a dramatic difference, the test proved that contrary to prevailing opinion at the time—and possibly still today for some people—the backpack provided more thorough cleaning. A more effective vacuum cleaner not only helps protect the health of a facility, but it can also help improve worker productivity. This level of thoroughness means cleaning professionals do not have to re-vacuum areas in order to get them thoroughly clean.

Check back next week to learn how to select the ideal backpack vacuum for your application.

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