The most important part of carpet maintenance is removing and disposing of accumulated dry soil. The removal of dry soil will improve the air quality indoors, extend carpet life, and help to maintain the carpet. Keeping regular maintenance on your carpet is one thing, although being sure you have the right equipment on the job is another.
The Green Label
For vacuum cleaners, the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) has developed a Green Label testing program. The CRI developed the performance protocol with the goal of protecting indoor quality, keeping all surfaces as clean as possible, and all without putting dust back into the air.
The Green Label program helps to identify vacuum cleaners that meet three different types of criteria:
- Removing soil.
- Keeping dust out of the air by containing it within the filtration bag and the machine itself.
- It doesn’t damage the carpet and helps to keep the appearance looking good.
The tests for determining the certification of a vacuum cleaner were developed by carpet and vacuum
experts and reviewed by scientists with experience in maintenance and the quality of indoor air.
The soil removal protocol will require that the vacuum cleaner remove a specified quantity of soil from the test carpet in four passes.
The protocol for dust containment will dictate the total amount of dust particles that are released into the surrounding air by the action of the brush rolls, through the filtration bag, and any leaks that come from the vacuum system. with this test, the vacuum cleaner can’t release more than 100 micrograms of dust particles per cubic meter of air.
The testing protocol for appearance retention will require that the vacuum cleaner not adversely affect the appearance of the carpet, based on a year of normal usage.
If a vacuum cleaner meets all three of the above requirements, the manufacturer may then display the official CRI Green Label on it’s brand of vacuum cleaner. The CRI tests canister and upright vacuums, wide area vacuums, and even walk behind types as well.
Looking for that important Green Label is the first step to providing longer carpet life and cleaner air for your home or office. The next step is selecting the proper vacuum cleaner for a specific area. You can think of vacuum cleaners like screwdrivers, as you wouldn’t want to use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove a Flathead screw.
In the bigger, more open areas, a wide are vacuum cleaner or sweeper can produce excellent results, as well as an increase in productivity. The average 14 inch upright vacuum can clean at a rate of 3,000 square feet per hour, while the average walk behind can clean at a rate of 40,000 square feet per hour, and also lift the pile of carpet in high traffic areas where the carpet fibers are subject to crushing and matting.
The two motor upright vacuum cleaner is an excellent choice in areas such as executive offices, lobbies, conference rooms, and break areas. A two motor upright can provide grooming of the fibers in the carpet and removal of the dry soil. Most uprights with two motor setups will also have a removable hose and on board accessories for cleaning other areas as well, such as vents and chairs.
Along with the type of area, you should also give some thought to the needs of the operator. If you are a manager, you should look for vacuums with ergonomic features, especially if the vacuum will be used for long periods of time.
If it isn’t ergonomically designed, it could result in injury to the operator. At the very least, the cleaning operator might want to avoid using vacuum cleaners that could result in injury. [bt]