How To Select the Right Industrial Vacuum

industrial vacuum

How To Select the Right Industrial Vacuum

Vacuum cleaners for industrial use are powerful, durable, heavy-duty machines that are built to handle even the toughest cleaning and maintenance jobs.  From lifting and cleaning up light to heavy loads, wet or dry materials,  solid particles, or spilled liquid, there’s an industrial vacuum for every job.  The question is, which vacuum do I need?  We’ve compiled the information needed to help you choose the right industrial vacuum cleaner for your needs. Start with the questions below then visit our full Industrial Vacuum Buying Guide here.

What Will the Industrial Vacuum Be Used For?

A vacuum’s performance and customer satisfaction are best when it’s matched with the specific application. There’s a lot of detail in every application, the better you can answer the following questions, the easier it will be to make a decision and maximize the performance of the vacuum. Knowing your environment can also help you decide which vacuum cleaner is right for you. What kind of air supply do you have? What kind of particles do you have? How flammable are they? This information will not only help you make smarter cleaning decisions, but you’ll also avoid major work injuries.

One of the biggest factors in determining which industrial vacuum is right is the material you will be collecting.  We’ve outlined several options below:

  • Scrap metal
  • Metal chips
  • Coolant
  • Floodwater
  • Dust
  • Debris
  • Paint powder
  • Flour and spices
  • Food particles
  • Sawdust

What Filtrations Systems Do You Need?

Filters are one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to industrial vacuums. These are part of the filtration system that begins when your vacuum captures smaller particles and moves them through the airstream. To clean the facility of contaminants, it may be necessary to use a standard HEPA or ULPA filter, depending on your environment.

HEPA Filters

OSHA defines a HEPA filter as one that removes particles that are at least 0.3 micrometers in diameter at a 99.97% efficiency. This is smaller than a coffee grind, a grain of cayenne pepper, and even a dot, which is about 615 micrometers. Airborne particles, like dust mites and other microscopic particles, can cause health problems if they aren’t captured by HEPA filters. If a facility is to be properly cleaned, strict guidelines must be adhered to – that is when a HEPA filter vacuum is the best option.

Check out our HEPA Filter Buying Guide.

How Much Power Does Your Industrial Vacuum Need?

Many people assume the vacuum’s power can be determined by only looking at the motor’s horsepower when looking for a high-performance, heavy-duty industrial vacuum cleaner.  You shouldn’t just limit the power of an industrial vacuum to suction. There are several other factors that determine how well a vacuum lifts:

  • To begin with, if your application requires picking up dry materials, the vacuum’s airflow is by far the most important factor to consider.

There is a force that pulls and collects particles inside the vacuum, measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM). A higher CFM of airflow, for example, means you can pick up more fine powders like flour or dust.

  • The static lift of the vacuum is more important than the CFM rating because it’s directly related to the power of the airflow.

High lift vacuums, for example, are made for lifting liquids or heavy metals. It’s the static lift that allows industrial vacuum cleaners to lift liquids of low density like water, so when suctioning these substances, the higher the lift, the lower the CFM.

Next Steps:

Check out our full industrial vacuum buying guide to find your perfect vacuum.

Check out our Industrial HEPA Vacuum Buying Guide.

What are Industrial Backpack Vacuums Used For?

back pack vacuums

What are Industrial Backpack Vacuums Used For? 

There are times when you need a vacuum to clean in tight spaces, or in places where a traditional industrial vacuum cannot perform. With backpack vacuums, you get the power of upright vacuums in a compact, portable form. The versatility of backpack vacuum cleaners makes them ideal for cleaning cluttered areas, stairs, aisles, seats, shelving, and other places where upright or canister vacuum cleaners are impractical.

Backpack vacuums have a variety of commercial and industrial cleaning applications and can be used for everything from hard-to-reach areas to large-scale applications that require added mobility. Below are some common backpack vacuum uses.


Backpack vacuums are an excellent choice for picking up food, soil, and candy wrappers in theaters. The vacuums can make quick work of cleaning floors and aisles between and under seats.


Airplane cabins are high-traffic areas. Soil, crumbs, and small pieces of trash make backpack vacuums an excellent choice for use in airplanes. The user can easily access aisles and maneuver around and under seats.


Stairways pose a challenge to clean. With a backpack vacuum’s increased mobility, the user can focus on cleaning the surface without having to move a machine from stair to stair.


The mobility of a backpack vacuum also lends itself to cleaning hallways as the user can move quickly down the area without having a vacuum in tow.


Cleaning shelving with a backpack vacuum can save time. With its increased flexibility the backpack vacuum can easily reach shelving as it is not situated on the ground. With the proper wand extensions and accessories, the user can elevate with the backpack vacuum to access hard-to-reach storage shelving.


These vacuums make quick work of cleaning around and under students’ desks and tables.

Buses and Railcars:

Backpack vacuums give the user the freedom of movement needed to easily clean aisles and around and under seats.

Houses of Worship:

Easily negotiate pews without having to drag a cumbersome canister vacuum behind.


Lightweight, portability makes it easy to clean around office furniture where many regular vacuums require careful maneuvering. Backpack vacuums can reach areas not accessible to regular vacuums including inside office furniture and shelving.

Ceiling Fans and Vents:

Backpack vacuums can reach some of the highest points in a room. Regular vacuums cannot reach high areas where dirty ceiling fans or vent grates exist without additional assistance. Backpack vacuums can reach these areas with greater ease

Next Steps:

See our full line of industrial backpack vacuums

Your Facility is Covered in Germs: What Does This Mean for a Facility Manager

Facility managers have a vital job. They responsible for ensuring the safe and effective operation and maintenance of a facility and it’s infrastructure, including the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems in the wake of any virus outbreak. Key organizations in the world health field like the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization are continually trying to update the global understanding of how exactly the COVID-19 virus is transported from person to person. ASHRAE has released proactive guidance to address the COVID-19 outbreak from a facility management perspective, and it is important for facility managers across the country to be in tune with the messaging.

ASHRAE COVID-19 Preparedness

ASHRAE has recognized that healthy buildings are part of the solution to maintain safe and healthy internal environments for building occupants. ASHRAE published official COVID-19 Preparedness Resources which serve as guidance to building owners, operators, and engineers on best measures and plans for protecting occupants.

As an airborne infectious disease, COVID-19 poses a potential risk to HVAC facility equipment. While little is known for sure about the virus and its ability to travel via HVAC systems,  Facility managers need to vary the approaches they take for each different type of facility that they manage. Additionally, it may become a necessity to clean the entire system to mitigate any risk and to provide comfort to employees, guests, and visitors. Currently, health care facilities have criteria for ventilation design and operation in place to mitigate airborne transmission of infectious diseases. In health care facilities, ASHRAE measures and local airborne transmission prevention policies aim to reduce transmission by both direct and indirect contact between employees and facility infrastructure. However, outside of critical areas like operating rooms, or infectious disease areas, little is known.

Emergency Planning

For other types of facilities that may not be specifically designed for infectious airborne disease control, active measures can still be taken to strengthen HVAC equipment’s ability to maintain the safety of the internal environment and air quality. One of the best measures to prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak is to develop and enact emergency planning procedures that increase the resiliency of facilities.

Engineers and facility managers can significantly support the capacity and efforts of emergency planning by understanding the design, operations, and maintenance adequacy of buildings for which they are responsible. An understanding of the capabilities and shortfalls of the building systems is key in determining which areas to target in an emergency preparedness plan. A building management system may have the means to increase dilution ventilation, increase relative humidity, or quickly clean and sanitize and disinfect components (coils, plenums, condensate systems, ductwork, etc) in order to respond to a crisis or outbreak.[1]

In the case of an infection occurring in an enclosed space or area, it is critical for facility managers to act quickly and apply the emergency plans set in place to deal with the situation. In the case of an airborne respiratory infection such as COVID-19, there are four quick steps that ASHRAE has identified that facility managers can take to quickly address the situation.

Step 1: Supply clean air to other susceptible occupants in the facility. Susceptible occupants may be anyone in the immediate area or the same room as the infected person.

Step 2: Containing the contaminated air as best as possible and exhausting it to the outdoors. It is important that air from a space with a potential infection is not recycled throughout the rest of the facility.

Step 3: Diluting the air in a space with clean air from outdoors and by filtering any recirculated air.

Step 4: Cleaning and sanitizing the equipment, surfaces, and shared spaces within a room that was susceptible to a COVID-19 outbreak. During these times it is also important to clean and disinfect evaporator and air handler coils.

Proper ventilation ultimately is the best method that facility managers can take to protect the workers and personnel inside the buildings that they manage. Ventilation systems should be thoroughly checked to ensure that components are properly cleaned and that the right filtration units are in place to clean the airflow. During emergency maintenance consideration of using Merv Rate Filters 13 and above may be worth looking into.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The COVID-19 virus outbreak is an undeniable reason for facility managers to analyze, practice, and supplement the cleaning and maintenance plans of their facilities. Many industrial and commercial facilities are full of germs naturally, and standard maintenance plans should meet regular thresholds for cleanliness and regularity each time they are exercised.

Global pandemics like the COVID-19 virus outbreak present unique situations when facility managers need to double down on their maintenance and cleaning plans. Though the nature of transmission of the COVID-19 virus is still under study, there has already been a proven occurrence of community spreading of the virus. Community spreading means that people are often infected in the midst of their everyday lives and activities because they were in areas where another person was infected by the virus.

No matter what type of facility that you manage, Goodway has products, advice, and proven maintenance strategies that can ensure your building is in the best position to help prevent the spread of illness.


Coronavirus’s Impacts In Your Health Care Facility: What You Need to Know

What is the Coronavirus?

The CDC has been responding to an outbreak of a virus known through the media as the coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a family of respiratory viruses that act similarly and cause those infected to exhibit similar systems. The specific virus that has triggered the World Health Organization to declare an outbreak and international public health emergency is “coronavirus disease 2019,” abbreviated COVID-19, which was first detected in China.[1]


The symptoms and severity of COVID-19 are still under study by the CDC, as there have been cases ranging in severity reported. The severities in illness for infected people range from very mild to severe flu-like symptoms, with some cases resulting in death. The most susceptible people death from the COVID-19 virus seems to be older people and people of all ages with severe underlying and pre-conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, which make them more vulnerable to the effect of the virus.[2]

How is it similar to other viruses?

The SARS-Cov-2 virus, which is the formal name for the COVID-19 virus, is a beta coronavirus. This means that the virus is similar to makeup as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, known as MERS and with the scientific name MERS-COV and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome from 2003-04 known as SARS.[3]

What disinfectants are effective against COVID-19?

Generic washroom soap and water is currently the most effective for limiting the spread of Coronavirus, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended method for preventing the spread of any pathogens, specifically the COVID-19 virus. In any case, personnel who practice recommended and regular basic hygiene measures such as washing their hands frequently with soap and water for at a minimum twenty seconds and using hand sanitizer after coming into contact with another human are minimizing their risk at contracting the virus. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should only be used in the case when soap and water are not available.

Some common disinfectants that are effective in sanitizing equipment and objects from the COVID-19 virus include A-456 II Disinfectant Cleaner, Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner, Oxycide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner, Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner, TB Disinfectant Cleaner RTU, and Virasept cleaner.[4]

How has the COVID-19 virus impacted healthcare?

Healthcare facilities across the country will likely be the local concentration point for both COVID-19 infected people to travel for care and where future infections could occur. Because of the critical role that healthcare facilities will play in treating and preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is important that all healthcare facilities take important steps now to prepare for the outbreak.

Three steps to take to be prepared

In order to be prepared, administration officials at healthcare facilities need to remain informed about the local and regional COVID-19 situation. The COVID-19 has demonstrated its ability to travel through community spreading, meaning that the virus’s approach will not be obvious, but once a nearby area sees infections, it is even more likely for the virus to spread to neighboring areas.

Step One: The very first step healthcare officials should take is to be prepared. The CDC has set up a COVID-19 website to inform the public on the status of the virus and this is an excellent place for healthcare officials to turn first for information and preparation guides.

Step Two: Establish local lines of communication and communication plans to help stop the spread of the virus. It is important for officials to establish relationships with key healthcare and public health partners throughout their community and neighboring communities. From these relationships, healthcare facilities can create an emergency contact list and emergency communication plan to enact should there be an infection within one of their facilities.

Step Three: Take strong measures to protect the workers and patients at the facility. Developing and reviewing facility emergency plans is a key preparation that all healthcare facilities need to exercise before the virus reaches their area. Once an infection is found at a facility, staff need to know the plan to act quickly to contain the virus from spreading across the organization. Healthcare facilities should also responsibly stock up and utilize basic health equipment such as masks, hand sanitizers, and gloves to ensure that they always have the basic equipment to protect their staff.

How can Goodway help?

Goodway offers a variety of sanitation materials to healthcare facilities for years, including surface sanitation solutions, and dry steam cleaners.  Contact us today to discuss your specific cleaning and sanitation needs.







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Keeping Colds and Flu at Bay in Corporate America

Millions of people suffer each year with the misery of runny noses, coughs, and sleepless, fever-filled nights. In the United States alone, the flu results in $7 billion a year in lost productivity and 17 million missed work days. Pause on that statistic for a moment. Every year the US economy misses out on $7 billion dollars of productivity because people get sick from the flu. It’s a staggering number, but facility managers and maintenance supervisors can be the difference between a building where people are healthy and working or sick and sent home.

In addition to the productivity toll, the flu can cause serious complications and even death. The 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst in history with an estimated 80,000 flu related deaths. Doctors are hopeful this year’s flu will not be a repeat of last year. However, in late October the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first pediatric flu death of the season. This sad news is a reminder that the winter flu season has begun and that flu remains a very real public health concern.

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