There are many ways I enjoy spending my time. Vacuuming doesn’t top that list. It’s a necessity, not only for basic cleanliness of my home but to keep the dust mites down. I dutifully don my dust mask and break out the vacuum at least once a month. My upright vacuum has a HEPA filter and glides efficiently over my floors. It’s a good machine, I would just much rather be knitting than vacuuming.
In comes the robot vacuum
So when a Black Friday promotion on a robot vacuum came across my virtual “desk” I couldn’t help but take a closer look. All the benefits of regular vacuuming with minimal effort on my part. I picked a model that a family member recommended. She was very clear with me that, while it does pick up a lot of dirt, dust, and what the heck is this on my floor?!?!?! It’s not a perfect replacement for “regular” vacuuming. On the upside, the robot never has a long day at work and is too worn out to vacuum. It pops right off its base at the scheduled time and whirs along, brushes sweeping debris into the dust bin. I kick my feet up and write a post for Asthma.net, make supper, or sometimes am even still commuting home from work.
The robot returns itself to the base and I pull out my beloved dust mask. No! Really! I have a sweet mask that has an 8-bit design as the outer layer. No drab hardware store dust masks for me. I find if I try to empty the dustbin on any vacuum without a dust mask I’ll be reaching for my rescue inhaler shortly. If it’s time to rinse out the filters of the vacuum I do that with my dust mask on too. When possible I try to do my dust raising activities shortly before a bath or shower. That way I wash the dust out of my hair.
I find keeping up with the vacuuming and using a dust mask helps keep me symptom-free. This is consistent with research on dust mite levels in homes. However, if you hate vacuuming and don’t want to buy a robot vacuum researchers have reassuring findings for you. A well-ventilated home has the low humidity that keeps mites at bay. 1 “The addition of a vacuum cleaner enhanced this effect.”1 I admit that keeping the humidity under control in my home is more challenging than vacuuming. It is likely to keep my histamine levels low. St. Louis is notoriously humid in the summer so this is easier said than done.
Buying a robotic vacuum for me was mostly about the novelty of a new gadget. I could not locate a significant body of research on robot vacuums and asthma. I hope the research will catch up with the new developments on the market. It would be great to have science justify the “need” for my new toy. Do you find vacuuming regularly helps manage your asthma triggers? Have you joined me in turning over your vacuum duties to a robot?
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?