Using a built-in rather than conventional vacuum improves quality of life for people allergic to house dust, according to new research published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology. Professors at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine conducted a six-month study of 25 patients who lived in one-story homes averaging about 2,136 square feet and 13.5 years in age. About 60% of the flooring in each home was covered in carpet.
Participants used a regular vacuum for three months and a central one for another three, evaluating their health during both phases. With the central vacuum, the respondents reported improved sleep; fewer instances of a runny nose and itchy, watery or sore eyes; and improved emotional well-being.
Bob Oliver, business development and planning manager of Beam Industries, a manufacturer of central vacuum systems, estimates that 95% of existing homes can be retrofitted with such a system in half a day or less, at a cost of $1,000 to $1,500. With public concern about indoor air quality at an all-time high, customers might find this a worthy suggestion.