Reply To: HEPA Vacuum for Small Archives

Lauren Paustian

Hi Abigail,

I would recommend against using the two-speed Data-Vac.  My library is looking for a vacuum cleaner for our stacks, and we had ordered the Data-Vac from Gaylord and then ended up returning it.   The vacuum has two hoses (one on each end), which simultaneously suction in and expel air.  As one end suctions debris, the vacuum is simultaneously blowing dust from the other end.   I don’t understand how anyone could effectively clean anything in this way,  especially in a rather delicate collections environment.   Gaylord had referred me to someone from the Data-Vac company, and they said I could attach a brush cleaning attachment  to the expelling hose to “direct the air current upwards.”
Also, on Gaylord’s website and catalog, they advertise a HEPA accessory kit for use with the vacuum.  However, the accessory kit which arrived with the vacuum is labeled a “Toner Cleaning Kit.”  When I asked the Data-Vac representative about this, he said that none of their products actually are HEPA capable, but the toner cleaning kit could work to pick up minute particles like a HEPA filter.

While the price of the Data-Vac is reasonable, it seems to me that this product is inappropriately being marketed to libraries and archives and museums.   Really, it is more appropriate for warehouses (where perhaps workers would want to clean large spaces by blowing dust into a corner, then vacuuming it up) or offices (where toner spills from printers and copy machines happen).