HEPA Vacuum Cleaners For Lead Dust, What Is The Difference?
With a larger attention towards HEPA vacuums with the recent lead dust laws that went into effect last year many contractors are asking what is the difference between these vacuums?
The major difference found in these vacuums is the filter (collection unit) for the lead contaminated waste that is being cleaned up and the ongoing operating cost of your vacuum. When deciding on which vacuum to purchase you will need to decide if you will be using the vacuum in a light, medium, or heavy amount of usage which then will help you to decide your ongoing cost for the operation of the vacuum unit.
All vacuums that are being used for lead dust removal should have a rating of 99.97% efficiency @ .3 micron. This is the rating that tells you how much dust will pass through the filters and still remain in the air around the work area. The main difference between these vacuums is how the debris is stored once it has been collected.
Vacuums with paper collection units will be the most cost effective because you will not disposing of the HEPA filter unit each time it is filled up. These vacuums operate by sealing the vacuum with gaskets instead of sealing the filter (collection) unit. You will find that the collection bags will most likely cost between $4.00 and $7.00 to replace the paper bag collection unit but watch for the hidden expense coming your way of replacing the HEPA filter which will need to be replaced at a general cost of $100 - $150 per change. These filters should last 200-300 hours between replacements.
Vacuums with filter that are built into the collection unit will be less cost effective however you will not have the HEPA filter replacements and in most cases you will pay more for the convenience of disposing a sealed unit and you will not need to worry as much about yourself or your employees disposing of the waste correctly. The cost of replacing the units will vary in cost depending on the size and style of the vacuum.
When purchasing any type of vacuum you must think about the size of the unit and how you will be using the vacuum. If you do major renovations you are going to want to look at a larger 4-5 gallon unit that you can move around with and it will not get in the way. If you do light renovation such as window replacements it would be a better idea to look at a smaller vacuum that you can move around with in confined areas.
No matter how you look at it this is a expense that you must absorb if you are going to work in house with lead paint and you need to make the correct choice that will suit your needs when purchasing your vacuum. If you have questions we highly recommend that you speak to whoever you are purchasing the vacuum from and get any questions answered prior to purchasing the vacuum. Many companies will charge a restocking fee if you want to return the vacuum if they will take it back at all.