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
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.
The soil removal protocol will require that the
vacuum cleaner remove a specified quantity of soil
from the test carpet in four passes.
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
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.
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.