Thread Number: 653
Advice Needed-Canister Vacuums For Allergies
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Post# 6400   12/24/2006 at 11:53 (4,913 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        

Hey, all--I know this may sound silly, beings I have so many vacuums in my collection, but I have run into what you might say a "Fork" in the road--I think I'm allergic to cats! I have a domestic short-hair cat, who I just absolutely "love" to death--I'd hate to part with him! Of the following brand of vacuums which I have, which do you think would be best to use for allergies: I have the following brands of vacuums: 100 + Electrolux's, I also have some Tri-Stars, 2 or 3 Airways, and 1 Vita-Vac, which is the same as an Airway. I need to do something--as I'm about to choke! I've had a cold/allergy/bug, whatever now, for 8 weeks, and I'm still coughing like crazy, I can't seem to break it, and I'm beginning to think that it may be the cat? I'm not wild about getting rid of the cat. As for a vacuum cleaner--Are any of my brands that I have any good? I've always preferred my Electrolux over any other brand but maybe it's time for a change. Any advice will be helpful!

Post# 6413 , Reply# 1   12/24/2006 at 15:20 (4,913 days old) by talktotravis ()        

The Vitavac/Airway can have very good filtration if you have all the filters installed, but if you're looking for something different Miele is absolutely unbeatable, as it is a completely sealed system. Like the Airway they have an optional charcoal filter which helps with the cat smell.

Post# 6414 , Reply# 2   12/24/2006 at 15:28 (4,913 days old) by luxboy ()        
Definately Miele or Rainbow


I agree with Travis.. when it comes to allergy problems, you can't beat a Mile with it's sealed HEPA system. A Rainbow would also be ideal if you don't mind changing the water. The new Rainbow E2 combines water washed air and a HEPA filter. Electroluxes are great machines, but probAably not the best for allergy sufferers. If you don't want to part with the cat, I would definately make the investment in one of these machines.


Post# 6417 , Reply# 3   12/24/2006 at 16:55 (4,913 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        
Thanks Guys

Hey, Guys--Thanks, I put a clean bag in my Vita-Vac and used it and already I can tell a difference, and when I looked at the bag--Lord, I don't think I've seen so much cat hair! What do you guys think of these air cleaning machines, like, for instance, Ionic Breeze, or Oreck Air Purifiers? Are either of those any good?

Post# 6420 , Reply# 4   12/24/2006 at 18:30 (4,913 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        
Ionic Breeze

I think it might work. They actually MOVE air using electric attraction. The first electrode is charged, and the next is the opposite charge. This pulls the air, which starts circulation. It pulls out mainly small particulates, but it is amazing to see what we are actually breathing. I don't think it pulls out a lot of dust from the air, though. I think it is a waste of money. It's like $250 for 2 units. I kind of think it is mainly a hoax. That is just my opinion from using them. It does take out some smell though. I guess that is the "magic" of "positive ions." Who knows. I am not an electrical engineer YET. Merry Christmas!


Post# 6423 , Reply# 5   12/24/2006 at 19:01 (4,913 days old) by sudsmaster ()        

The ionic types of air cleaners consistently get panned by CR, which says they are not worth much at all in terms of cleaning room air.

For a vacuum cleaner, I agree, a sealed HEPA type of cleaner is the way to go for allergies. If you're on a tight budget, look at the Eureka sealed HEPA uprights. These get consistently high ratings from CR and are reasonably priced - you can usually get the consumer version for about $150, and the commercial version (similar to a Sanitaire model) for $199 or less. I have the commercial version (C5712) and it seems to work very well. Also get the Filteraire type bags; they will trap more allergens.

Bagless vacs with the HEPA filter in the dust cup? I'd avoid those like the plague. You'll be exposed to lots of dust trying to clean the darn HEPA, and every time you go to empty the dust bin. Although the Eureka bags don't have a self sealing dust bag, I think one could easily slap a piece of duct tape on the opening when changing bags, and that would solve that problem.

My understanding is that cat allergies are caused by a protein in the saliva of cats. They lick their coats and so the protein gets everywhere. Male cats are supposed to have much more of the allergen than female cats, so a female cat might work for someone prone to allergies while a male cat might be too allergenic. I've also heard that the scientists are trying to genetically engineer a new breed of cats that lack the protein; lord knows when that will happen or what the poor thing will look like.

Of course it's hard to know exactly what you might be allergic to. But a sealed HEPA vac will help trap a lot of the unknowns, which might include dust mites (which live on the human skin flakes in ordinary house dust and have nothing to do with pets).

Post# 6431 , Reply# 6   12/25/2006 at 00:42 (4,913 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        
Cat Problem

bimmer740's profile picture
I second what Sudsmaster says about the ionic cleaners in CR reviews. Too many negative ions in the air are not good for you, and they dont seem to remove enough "stuff" to be effective.

I believe they rated the Freidrick (maker of air conditions) air-purifier to do fairly well but they are about $350.

I am not allergic to cats but having an indoor male short haired american cat, I can tell you about others reactions to my little fatso. I love Electrolux too but they dont clean as well as some other machines and even the Gaurdian (to the best of my knowledge) is not a sealed system unit.

I had two Mieles, a Red velvet and blue moon, and they are a sealed system, but my friends still had an allergic reaction when they came into my house. I also have a Kirby Diamond Edition and only use the newest HEPA bags in it but it doesnt make an impact either.

I will tell you that I am OCD about how clean our house is kept. Since I put in our Vacuflo central vac (bagless and vented to outside), our friends seem to not be effected as much by the cat. It takes much longer for them to have any kind of reaction to the cat dander, and one of my best friends sometimes doesnt have any reaction. Of course nothing will change the fact that you have a cat, but there are ways to help the situation. I know a central vac my not be practical as it is a large investment, but its worth a thought.

My other suggestion is to check out a new Rainbow. I have never used one but if i didnt put in a central vac, a Rainbow would have been my next machine. Maybe its in my imagination, but the fact that you dont have a bag -with cat fur in it for air to pass through everytime-, no dust storm when emptying it like a normal bagless, and you start with fresh water each time, will make a difference for allergy problems.

Anyway, just my two cents, but good luck! I hope you find something to help your allergies, I could never part with my cat and I hope you dont have to.


Post# 6446 , Reply# 7   12/25/2006 at 11:33 (4,912 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        

I've seen the E-Series of Rainbows, they do look like a nice machine. It seems like, though, they are really noisy! I guess I'm used to the quiet SHHHHHHH of my Electrolux model G. I can't see forking out $2,000 Plus for a vacuum cleaner, although I do see some Rainbows quite often in local Pawn shops. They are usually the older models but I will keep my eyes open. Perhaps somebody has a good Rainbow that they'd trade for a Lux? I've got an Electrolux Renny as well as a Electrolux Epic 9000. Perhaps someone would like to do a trade?

Post# 6447 , Reply# 8   12/25/2006 at 13:30 (4,912 days old) by cirtcele ()        

The Nilfisk machines are supposed to be the absolute last word in air filtration...they're used in "cleanroom" manufacturing environments, and suposedly by NASA to prepare spacecraft. They were also praised by CR.

I have allergies as well, but mine are fairly mild. I don't use any bagless machines (whether high-tech cyclonic or old-tech cloth) vacuums for this reason. But I can use something as dirty as a Hoover Elite with the "Allergen" bags, or a Eureka-Sanitaire machine with the "triple filter" cloth outer bag, and not show any symptoms.

Post# 6448 , Reply# 9   12/25/2006 at 13:43 (4,912 days old) by dial-a-matic ()        

My grandma has a really old one and it WILL NOT have an ozone problem if you replace the carbon filters and wash out the cell. THEY DO WORK!!!. The oreck was once made by another manufacture foe less than $150 Then they went out of bussines and oreck stole the design? or, they still make them for oreck. Oreck is rippin you off for the same things sold many years ago for cheap. The oreck and ionic breeze DO NOT WORK!!! If you do not belive me look in a sears catalog from 1994-5. And if you do not belive me that they do not work, go to an oreck store and look into a grille of an air purifier, youu will see lots of dust, they do not work!!


Post# 6464 , Reply# 10   12/25/2006 at 20:46 (4,912 days old) by compactc9 ()        

I would say if you have a Vita Vac, you don't really have a need for a new vacuum. Just make sure you use the genuine Air-Way bags. Mieles are also great for allergies.

For air cleaenrs, I recommend something like IQ Air. Anything that is basically just a big HEPA filter with a fan works best. IQ Air is considered the best in the industry, and certainly is the queitest.

Post# 6484 , Reply# 11   12/26/2006 at 09:17 (4,911 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        

Miele and Air-Way...maybe Sebo. I have only used Miele and Air-Way, but Sebo sounds good, too. According to their website, they claim very good filtration. Is it just me, or do the bags for the Miele and Sebo look very similar? They are both white and green! Both German, too.

Post# 6491 , Reply# 12   12/26/2006 at 12:35 (4,911 days old) by dial-a-matic ()        
My Sebo...

has a sealed filtration but, looking at the microfilter, it seems to have made alot of carbon dust.


Post# 6503 , Reply# 13   12/26/2006 at 15:24 (4,911 days old) by rexairman ()        

Rainbow is the only way to go. It is the ONLY vacuum cleaner which is A.H.A.M. certified as an air cleaner. The new e2 is designed to run 24/7 on low speed. It is virtually silent on low speed. The use of a brushless motor enables it to run for indefinite periods of time. When you want to vacuum, plug in the attachment or Power Nozzle hose, and move the switch to high speed. The new Sound Reduction Edition answers the complaint of a high noise level.

Post# 6544 , Reply# 14   12/27/2006 at 00:55 (4,911 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        

bimmer740's profile picture
Clay how well do the new E2's clean carpet?

I have never used a Rainbow, since they are not very popular where I live, but Im very interested in them. I would love to try one out! My friends mother had an SE and even with an active family and a huge golden retriever, you could eat off the floor. She was a cleaning fanatic, but I never saw any dust in the house, their older carpets still looked new, and the house smelled dog-free! They sound like a terrific machine for someone who doesnt mind porperly caring for the machine.

Post# 6549 , Reply# 15   12/27/2006 at 03:03 (4,910 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have a Rainbow E2 canister with the SR motor-It has very powerful air movement-more so than the earlier machines-but it has a VERY POOR powernozzle-really Rainbow should redesign the powernozzle-its an outdated design.It chokes off the airflow from their powerful SR motor.I use an older TriStar "turbo-brush" on mine and it digs up more dirt than the original powernozzle.Another beauty of the Rainbow SR motor-no carbon dust!!the motor does have a filter in it anyway so as to prolong the life of the bearings.And its a true "bypass" motor-the motor itself has a separate fan to cool its windings and the circuit to run the motor.The suction fan is in a separate housing.I beleive the motor filter in the Rainbowe also keeps dust from accumilating in the special circuit to run the motor-so it will last longer.

Post# 6581 , Reply# 16   12/27/2006 at 16:52 (4,910 days old) by partscounterman ()        
Try cleaning the Cat!

Of course regular brushing of the cats fur will trap the loose hair before it flies around the house. I have also heard that since one is allergic to the dander (dried up kitty spit) rather than the actual fur, one should wipe the cat off every now and again with a damp washcloth. This will cut down on the dander. Your own cat may or may not cooperate with this...but you can try it. Some cats will take a bath-with others you may want to make sure your health care premiums are all paid!

I hope you can find a way to deal with Kitty rather than getting rid of him/her. I love cats myself.

Post# 6584 , Reply# 17   12/27/2006 at 18:05 (4,910 days old) by electrolux1960 ()        
Re: Let's Weigh-In Some Info:

Hi! Nathan, I'm curious to know how long have you had your Cat{s} and is it quite possible that maybe instead of the Cat, you might be suffering from Mold/Mildew somewhere in your Residence? If you've had the Cat{s} for quite some time, I would think that all of a sudden your becoming Allergic to it/them.

Let us know these possibilities of length of time owning the Cat{s} and if you might happen to locate some Mold/Mildew around inside.

Kind Regards and Happy New Year, Steve

Post# 6628 , Reply# 18   12/28/2006 at 09:30 (4,909 days old) by rexairman ()        

Interesting comment on the Rainbow Power Nozzle being poor. That has not been my experience. Please bear in mind that while I sell some new Rainbows in my capacity as an Authorized Rainbow Service Center, that I operate a full line vacuum store selling other quality products as well, particularly Sanitaire and Air-Way, and service and sell rebuilts of all makes. My experience with Rainbow is borne out by the survey results from surveys of owners by two independent polling companies, which show the Rainbow with a 98% owner satisfaction rating. Additionally, which makes me question the comment about the Power Nozzle (but certainly not the sincerity or honesty of the writer) is the fact that I get a lot of referrals resulting in Rainbow sales from the carpet industry, which highly recommends the machine. The Power Nozzle design, is, however, the oldest design of any product Rainbow is selling, and it will be the next to be changed, according to Rexair's Field Service Supervisor.

Post# 6732 , Reply# 19   12/29/2006 at 04:51 (4,908 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Thats interesting that Rainbow is to change their PN design-If they come out with a diffrent one-can I get one to try with my present E2?

Post# 6751 , Reply# 20   12/29/2006 at 11:03 (4,908 days old) by luxboy ()        
Rainbow Powernozzle

I actually love the PE powernozzle on my Rainbow E2. It grooms the carpet very nicely, still while beating the rug to get out all that deep down sand and grit. I have to say, when using my E2 with the powernozzle, the bottom of the water pan is full of sand EVERY time. Makes me wonder where it all comes from! I think it's cool that they want to change it, just hope it works as well as the current one.


Post# 7408 , Reply# 21   1/4/2007 at 23:12 (4,902 days old) by sudsmaster ()        

I once had a cat who was so into water she once jumped into the bathtub with me.

Fortunately she didn't freak out and I lived to tell the tale.


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