When you think of fine Italian machinery, you might think of a red Porsche, not a grey vacuum cleaner, yet both products come from the same place, the hills of northern Italy. And like the Porsche, the Lindhaus vacuum cleaner comes with cachet; it’s the vacuum cleaner of the White House and the Supreme Court, after all. The federal government used to source their vacuums elsewhere, but decided to go with Lindhaus after anthrax threats sent them looking for the most powerful, finely filtered vacuum available.
Lindhaus, whose US base is held in Minnesota, specializes in vacuum cleaners with extremely fine filtering technology. Their machines use both physical filters and electrostatic filters that build up a little charge and attract particles of dust. Options for a Lindhaus vacuum cleaner include a HEPA filter that says it is able to catch particles as small as bacteria, and a carbon filter that uses activated charcoal to remove “offensive or harmful gasses” from the air. With the specialized filter, according to the company, Lindhaus vacuums are hospital and laboratory quality.
In fact, there are very few places to buy a Lindhaus Vacuum cleaner for home use. The company’s website, www.lindhaususa.com, has a list of authorized dealers, and a very stern warning to only buy from those dealers. Lindhaus says it will not guarantee the condition of any Lindhaus bought from other parties.
The finest filter available for a Lindhaus vacuum cleaner is a HEPA filter, which stands for “high efficiency particulate absorbing”. HEPA filters are made of fibers arranged randomly, rather than in a grid. When particles start moving through the filter, the airflow is such that the particles are attracted to the fibers, rather than “caught up” by them. Such filters are used in aerospace, pharmaceutical, and hospital settings.
To be designated a HEPA filter, the device must catch 99.7% of particles that are .3 microns in length or more. For comparison, bacteria are about 1 micron in length, and a human hair is about 50 microns in diameter.
But does it work?
Scientists do not believe that vacuuming with a HEPA filter equipped vacuum cleaner will magically cure allergies. Many allergy sufferers themselves report an improvement in asthma, pet, and dust mite allergies after using a Lindhaus vacuum cleaner, but there is no science yet to prove that a HEPA filter will help all allergy sufferers.