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:

1. Removing soil.

2. Keeping dust out of the air by

containing it within the filtration bag and the

machine itself.

3. 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.

Soil removal

The soil removal protocol will require that the

vacuum cleaner remove a specified quantity of soil

from the test carpet in four passes.

Dust containment

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.

Carpet retention

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.

Matching machines

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.

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