OK, my wife is planning on talking to a salesperson this weekend who is
going to try and sell her a Hyla Air Filter/Vacuum. She has allergy
problems and thinks this product could be the answer.
I looked at the web site and thought the science behind the product (a
water-bath filtration system) looked a little dubious. There was also no
mention of HEPA or a CADR measure, and apparently no certification. I smell
a scam. Anybody have any experience with this product?
I don't have any experience with the product, but common sense tells me that
trying to solve allergy problems with a vacuum cleaner doesn't make sense.
First of all, about any run of the mill sweeper has a HEPA filter these
days. At that, even if the vacuum is great, how much good will it do
running a vacuum cleaner for 10 minutes a day?
If your wife has serious allergy problems, then the first thing I would do
would be to take up the carpeting. There is no vacuum on earth that will
turn a carpeted home into an allergy friendly place. If you can't do the
whole house, start with the bedroom. There are many choices in hard
surfaces for your floors including inexpensive, DIY laminates that are easy
to clean and don't support microbes or serve as a reservoir for allergens.
Filtration is a good idea, but not with a vacuum cleaner. Install a
high-effect filter or an electronic air cleaner in you furnace and run the
fan 24/7. Short of that, get some portable electronic air cleaners for
rooms where you spend a lot of time. You might consider a UVC light for
your furnace. It sits above the AC coil and prevents molds from growing on
the coil. It also kills some bacteria and viruses. That keeps your furnace
from spewing out mold and makes your AC more efficient. You might consider
investing in some bedding that encapsulates the pillows and mattress.
Bedding is also a source of allergens and harbors dust mites.
Frankly, I would call the salesperson and cancel the appointment. These
people are paid 100% on commission. The prices they charge for their goods
are many times what the product is worth. What's more, if you have a
problem you are screwed. The way these things work is that the sales person
(who you will never see again) is the distributor and is responsible for
customer service. When they decide to sell Tupperware or aluminum siding,
you will have nowhere to turn for help. You could end-up with a piece of
equipment that you can't find parts of filters for. They will try to get
you spend $2500 for a $250 machine and finance it at 27% for five years.
The salesperson will come to your home and you will either have to spend a
fortune or physically eject them to get them out of the house. These things
often become ugly.
If you want to spend some money on a decent vacuum, find a local dealer that
sells Miele. They are good, if pricey, machines that are sold through
reputable dealers instead of huckster. Lowe's even carries a few models
now. http://www.miele.com/ If you do keep the appointment, be aware that
there is a slightly used Hyla vac on Ebay right now with a high bid of $350
and a couple of days to go. I wouldn't pay more than $400 for a new one
from the huckster. You can get a Miele for that and spend the rest on
addressing the real problems - the carpeting, bedding, and air filtration
system in you home.
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