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While allergy season never ends for some of us, the spring is often a difficult time for even more people. Pollen is on the rise, and itchy eyes soon follow alongside that awful feeling of being constantly stuffed up.
As if winter colds weren’t bad enough, right? Well, the good news is that a Shark vacuum cleaner could actually reduce your allergies; and there are six ways listed below.
We even included some other anti-allergen advice for you to help you out as much as possible this allergy season.
What are Allergens and What Causes Them?
An allergen is defined as a substance or collection of particles that cause allergic reactions and can trigger asthma attacks. They tend to be carried in the air before settling on furniture, the floor, and other surfaces.
Allergens brought in from the outside are usually on your clothes and shoes, and will make themselves comfortable as soon as you step inside. Here are the most common types:
- Dust mites
- Pet hair
- Mold spores
How can you tackle these? Well, a vacuum cleaner is often your best bet; and Shark is one of the leading brands for the job. Just remember, not all vacuums were made equal, and you should always ensure it has the key features that are listed in this handy guide.
Six Ways a Shark Can Reduce Your Allergies
It might be difficult to believe that a Shark vacuum cleaner has the power to reduce and relieve your allergies and asthma, but it’s true. There are quite a few ways that they can help your symptoms, but we have six of the best listed below for you.
#1 Make Sure Your Vacuum Has a HEPA Filter
This is such an important feature if you want your vacuum cleaner to tackle dust and allergens effectively. If the model you are looking at doesn’t have one, put it back and keep looking.
The filters are able to trap 99.7% of particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. They can capture everything from dust and pet dander, to pollen and mold spores.
A vacuum cleaner without a HEPA filter is not able to trap anything smaller than 30-50 microns, and so the smaller allergens are pushed back into the air; causing allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
To make sure you have an effective model, ensure that it is a genuine HEPA filter and that you clean it regularly so that it can trap microbes effectively. Even better is an allergy-certified model.
#2 Ensure the Seals are Good Quality
The seals are also part of the trapping process, and without them, you will find that a lot of unwanted particles end up escaping.
A reliable vacuum cleaner that has strong and well-constructed seals will be much more effective at ensuring that allergens do not get pushed out of the vacuum cleaner.
Of course, every model is going to have some that get out, but those with high ratings for low emissions are the best at keeping as much as possible inside.
#3 Go for Maximum Suction
Power is key, and it is a very true fact when tackling allergens.
Vacuum cleaners that have higher levels of suction, like the Shark models, are able to reach deeper into carpets and similar floor types to pick up hidden dust and debris that could be causing unwanted symptoms.
Bagless vacuums also tend to deliver the most strength, and they won’t lose suction over time (just make sure you wash the filters regularly).
#4 Vacuum Absolutely Everything
Spare no corner of your home when you are cleaning; it’s not just the floors you need to worry about. Furniture is the perfect home for allergens, and we don’t always think about vacuuming it when we actually should.
Even your mattress can benefit from a good cleaning, especially as dust mites tend to be quite fond of it. Curtains, skirting, corners, and behind your shelves are all places you cannot afford to forget about when you are combating allergens.
#5 Choose Your Vacuum Based on Your Home
Think about the type of Shark vacuum cleaner that is going to be best for your home. If you don’t have massive spaces to cover, a cordless model might be the best choice.
If you have a lot of furniture and tight areas, a cylinder vacuum cleaner is probably the right way to go. If you have pets, you need something that can tackle both their hair and dander.
#6 Utilize the Attachments
Your vacuum cleaner comes with attachments for a reason, and it is important that you take the time to put them to good use. They help you to reach difficult areas and give others a deeper clean to remove every trace of allergens.
If you are serious about reducing the number of allergens in your home, then you need to be using all of the attachments that come with your Shark vacuum cleaner.
Getting Rid of Pollen: Springtime is Coming
Spring is the worst, and summer too, because of all the pollen in the air. Itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing are just some of the irritating symptoms we have to put up with.
While not all of these tips are Shark related, they are helpful nonetheless when it comes to battling those warm weather allergies.
#1 Open the Windows and Doors
You don’t need to keep the windows and doors shut during the spring and summer in order to keep the pollen out; it’s all about timings.
Flowers release the most pollen in the mornings and early evenings, so you can open your doors at lunchtime and then again once it starts to get a little later when the sun has gone down.
It’s good to keep your home ventilated, and being able to do so without risking too much pollen getting in can be a relief.
#2 Use a Good Vacuum Cleaner
We mentioned in the previous section how essential a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is for allergies, and they are fantastic at collecting pollen as well.
Ensure that you buy a Shark with a genuine HEPA filter and allergy seals so that you can trap as much pollen as possible and prevent it from being pushed back into the air. Vacuuming once a day will also help keep pollen levels low.
Also Read: Shark NV801UKT Review
#3 Dry Laundry Inside
Even though the spring and summer months are perfect for drying your laundry outside, it’s also a recipe for allergy disaster. The pollen will stick to the clothes and trigger reactions while you are wearing them.
Instead, get a clothes rack for drying inside or use the tumble dryer. It might be a little more expensive to run, but your risks of reaction are massively reduced.
#4 Keep the Pollen Away from Your Bed and Clothes
When you step in from the outside, strip down at the door and put your clothes in the wash immediately. It might seem extreme, but it really helps to keep the allergen levels down.
If you don’t want to wash them, keep a set of outdoor clothes aside and sealed so that you can change quickly before you leave and after your return. Pollen loves beds as well, especially since it sticks to your skin and you can’t even see it.
Before you go to bed, have a quick shower and rinse it all off. You should also wash your bedding once a week and vacuum your mattress. Using an under-sheet also creates a protective barrier and can prevent the pollen from making its way into your mattress.
Choose the Best Option for Your Home: Shark Information
Selecting the right vacuum cleaner is the key to success, and everyone has a favourite that they recommend.
We quite like Shark models because of how robust and reliable they are, and there are so many to choose from. While it was hard to pick, we selected a good all-rounder to take you on your cleaning journey.
Maximum Strength Vacuum: NV681UKT
This is one of our favourite models on the market, and it is a superb vacuum cleaner that offers a great deal of power and suction. It has a sleek design, and an almost retro look, but everything about the technology is exceptionally modern.
Plus, it’s been designed for homes with pets. It’s easy to handle, quite light, and also transforms into a portable vacuum, providing you with a host of handy features.
However, the things we really want to focus on here are the attachments and the HEPA filter. After all, these are the little extras that will help battle your allergies.
Further Reading: FAQs about Shark Vacuums
A HEPA filter is able to capture 99.7% of microbes that are responsible for allergies and asthma. A large number of vacuum cleaner brands incorporate them into their models because they are so effective.
As they trap the little microbes, it also means that they don’t get pushed out of the back of the vacuum cleaner and return to the air in your home. This is why they are so excellent at preventing allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
All Shark vacuums, including the NV681UKT, have them installed, and you will usually find it near the motor. While there is another main filter to trap dust and grime, the HEPA is the true star of the show when it comes to filtration.
It does need to be washed, but only once a year (maybe twice if you live in a dusty area or it’s allergy season), and should be left to dry until there is no moisture left before you put it back in.
It comes with three attachments, which you will find below:
- Pet tool (perfect for bedding)
- Upholstery tool (perfect for furniture)
- 2-in-1 crevice tool and dusting brush (perfect for ceilings and delicate areas)
Each of these clips onto the end of the wand with ease, and can be used to reach difficult areas. This is perfect for picking up even the most difficult hairs and balls of fluff; especially on stairs and behind furniture.
Read More: Best Shark Vacuum Review
We hope that this has helped you out when looking or new ways to try and reduce your allergies and the impact they have on your life.
A new vacuum cleaner can be the difference between severe and mild reactions, so picking one that is right for your lifestyle and home is absolutely key.
Sometimes, it’s just the little things around the house that can change the way things are; it’s all down to trial and error. We would love to know how you got on with this advice though, so leave us a message in the comments below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.