Wellness is the new buzz and in particular Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is fast becoming the hottest topic within the wellness realm, surpassing human-centric lighting. But many integrators don’t know where to start in terms of offiering IAQ to their clients. They are often unfamiliar with the IAQ monitoring/air sniffing products, and likewise are fearful of getting involved in the HVAC side of IAQ, installing filtration systems and such.
But what many integrators don’t realize is that they already have a key IAQ component at their disposal to launch them into a wellness conversation with their clients in the form of central vacuum systems. CVAC has been around for decades as an option, primarily in the new home construction space. It has always been pitched as a convenience option, but now in the aftermath of COVID-19 it has become a central component in IAQ.
“People don’t realize that central vacuums can be the homeowners’ first line of defense in improving their indoor air quality to the standards they want,” says Amy Wesely, strategic accounts sales manager for H-P Products. “Consumers believe that they are cleaning when they’re vacuuming which most of us, you know that’s why we vacuum, as we believe we’re cleaning our homes, but in reality vacuuming with a portable vacuum cleaner is actually polluting the indoor air quality of your home. Even if you have an air purifier in your home or an air exchanger, you’re still you’re still being exposed to those particles, and dust and debris that are coming out of that vacuum. For a portable vacuum to work effectively, the air that goes into it also has to exit it, and with a portable vacuum that air is going through your bag or containment system and returning those microscopic dust and germs back into your home.”
Wesely says that “after-vacuum smell” or “after-vacuum haze” floating in the air is actually the result of the portable vacuum cleaner redistributing the dirt in the home. It’s also why some people have to dust their furniture right after they vacuum.
Contrastingly, central vacuums are completely closed systems, so the dirt picked up from the carpets and furniture is all taken away in a closed tube system and deposited in the canister that’s usually located in the garage or a basement.
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Key IAQ Questions to Ask Clients
So what is the best way for an integrator to engage in a discussion about IAQ and CVAC?
Wesely says first is to simply ask them if they are concerned about the indoor air quality of their home?
“There’s a large percentage of new home buyers that are very concerned about indoor air quality and the cleanliness of their home, especially after this pandemic,” says Wesely.
She says another good question integrators can ask clients is there is are any members of the household who suffer from allergies or asthma.
“That’s a huge problem across the United States and even probably the world. Allergies and asthma are something that affects a large population of our country and it increases with the bad indoor air quality. So with a central vacuum, you’re reducing those risks,” she says.
Wesely says another key question is to ask clients how they plan to clean their home, and in particular if they use an outside cleaning service? If the cleaning service is bringing in its own vacuum cleaner, it is likely introducing allergens from someone else’s home into the house, unless he or she is changing the bag in the portable vacuum between every different home visit.
“Most likely, the answer is no. So with that happening, they’re bringing debris, dust and germs in from the previous homes that they’ve cleaned with that same vacuum cleaner. So they’re exposing your family to the germs of others,” she explains.