Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Dial Down The Volume With A Quieter Vacuum

July 29, 2011

It’s no secret that the tough, turbulent economy has affected our entire business climate — including the JanSan industry.

This has forced many commercial cleaning professionals to find creative ways to cut utility costs and curb high staff turnover that can require additional funds for training and retaining employees.

A growing number of facilities are turning to day cleaning to solve these issues.

Advocates of day cleaning claim that it is a highly cost-efficient method.

It’s been shown that cleaning during the day can be 15 percent to 25 percent less costly than cleaning at night, and utility expenses alone can be reduced as much as 30 percent.

In addition, labor savings can be five percent to 10 percent with a day cleaning routine.

This is due to increased efficiencies and accountability of workers as well as the elimination of day porter positions.

With today’s busy professionals working late into the evening, nighttime cleaning staffs don’t always reduce work interruption.

Moreover, professionals have become accustomed to seeing a cleaning crew working among them.

At the same time, it’s becoming more and more difficult to retain cleaning staffs for the less popular night shift.

Switching to a day cleaning routine can minimize the loss of these cleaning professionals.

Offering daytime shifts attracts a larger number of enthusiastic workers who may resist working nights, resulting in happier workers and less turnover for the facility.

This eliminates the need to consistently spend money on recruitment and training costs for new workers and will help keep budgets in check for housekeeping managers.

Approaching The Process

When instituting a day cleaning process, it can be challenging to schedule cleaning around the daytime activities of building occupants.

Communication between the housekeeping manager, janitors and building occupants becomes a critical component to creating a successful and natural transition.

At night, cleaning crews have the run of the building and are practically invisible to the workers in the facility.

During the day, cleaning staffs cannot interfere with normal business operations, but also must be kept busy and on task regardless of workers’ schedules.

This requires strict planning on the part of the housekeeping manager to keep all processes running smoothly with little to no interruption to the professionals working.

Tools For Day Cleaning

Another big challenge with day cleaning is the ability for crews to do a thorough cleaning without creating any loud disturbances to the building occupants who are working.

That means vacuums — as one of the noisiest cleaning tools — had to change.

Luckily, forward-thinking commercial cleaning manufacturers now offer vacuum cleaners that let cleaning professionals vacuum facilities 24/7 without so much noise.

These vacuums are designed to operate below 70 decibels (dB), so staff can clean day and night with less impact on the workers around them.

In choosing one of these quieter models, every facility should be able to do so without sacrificing power and efficiency.

Ensure that the powerful performance of any vacuum is maintained in order to benefit your cleaning staffs’ everyday productivity.

Look for models equipped with innovative features and tools to streamline cleaning tasks and decrease unscheduled downtime.

For example, features like quick-change cords provide workers with the ability to repair the model quickly and get back to work with less interruption.

Bagged and bagless models also allow cleaning staffs to empty dirt quickly and move efficiently from floor to floor.

Convenient attachments and features are also important when selecting a vacuum for day cleaning processes.

Vacuums with large capacity, easy drop-in bag systems will help crews change their equipment quickly and get back to cleaning.

Look for dust bag models that feature a bag safety lid, which prevents operation if the bag is not in place.

Some vacuum models offer a wider cleaning path, ranging from 12 inches to 15 inches, which can cover 20 percent more area.

These models are favorable for conducting quicker daytime cleaning routines.

Vacuums with unsurpassed sealed high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration and on-board tools also offer significant advantages.

Choose models that offer an oversized diameter hose that stretches for extended cleaning reach while still resisting clogging for maximum suction power and optimal airflow.

Ways To Cut Costs, Not Corners

Over time, routine maintenance of vacuums can add up.

Product benefits that help the vacuum run longer with less maintenance will allow cleaning professionals to clean faster and more thoroughly than ever before.

It also will put money — that otherwise would have been spent on repairs — directly back into your pocket.

Bagless upright vacuums are an optimal choice if you’re looking for maximum cost savings.

Recently, manufacturers have introduced quiet, durable, single-motor bagless uprights that provide immediate cost savings and ease for cleaning professionals.

By eliminating the need to replenish or have dust bags on hand while cleaning, bagless upright vacuums directly contribute to your bottom line.

Some manufacturers even offer easy-to-maintain bagless models.

Overall, this ideal design keeps your staff focused on cleaning and reduces time and money spent on maintenance and other operating costs.

When choosing a vacuum for day cleaning operations, keep in mind that the vacuum should meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines.

This program requires vacuums to operate below 70 dB.

Vacuums that carry the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval also are recommended.

This program is the only quantifiable testing program that rates vacuums on soil removal, dust containment and safety to carpet surfaces.

Benefits Of Day Cleaning

When deciding whether or not to switch to a day cleaning routine, the conversation ultimately begins at the most basic level — the vacuum in your cleaners’ hands.

That’s why it is so important to use a durable, easy-to-maintain product from the start.

By choosing a powerful, durable, low-maintenance vacuum, you’ll reap the benefits of increased staff productivity and, ultimately, reduced operating costs.

The switch to a day cleaning routine can payoff tremendously in cost savings, reduced staff turnover, visibility to the service that cleaning professionals provide and improved relationships between building occupants and the cleaning crews.

By investing the effort and creating a foundation of open communication between all parties involved, day cleaning can be a successful experience for any facility.


David Parkes is the general manager of Sanitaire. Sanitaire, an Electrolux brand, offers the Quiet Clean line, a series of vacuum cleaners ideal for day cleaning, which feature durable designs, quiet operation and maximum performance. The newest addition to the line is a bagless upright that further cuts costs and boosts productivity. Quiet Clean vacuums operate below 70 decibels, meet LEED guidelines and have the CRI Seal of Approval. For more information call (800) 800-8975 or visit www.sanitairecommercial.com.