Vacuum cleaner noise is considered the most irritating household noise. As a part of Electrolux efforts in eliminating sound pollution from homes, the company has tested vacuum cleaners sleeping compatibility in a Swedish sleep clinic. Results: The UltraSilencer is quiet enough to fall asleep to, and sleep next to when turned on and off.
Electrolux consumer insight research shows that cleaning habits are changing. The time of day no longer dictates when people choose to do the vacuuming. Cleaning is rather performed when the opportunity arises, e.g. for modern parents that may very well be anytime the baby is asleep. That’s why Electrolux decided to take vacuum testing to the extreme by testing UltraSilencer’s sleeping compatibility.
The Science of Sleep Testing
Two test subjects spent two nights sleeping 125 cm from the UltraSilencer. The test subjects were able to fall asleep with the vacuum cleaner running, and also remained asleep when the vacuum cleaner was turned on and off during the night in 85 % of the attempts.
“It would be a tough test for any appliance, and perhaps even tougher for a vacuum cleaner. The study is part of gathering consumer insight necessary to live up to our mission of constantly developing home appliances that correspond with how people actually live. Since the UltraSilencer is sleep compatible, it is of course also partner, neighbour and baby compatible. We have proven that it is possible to reduce noise pollution, without reducing any cleaning performance,” says Henrik Troberg, Technology Manager at Electrolux.
Conducting a Vacuum Cleaner Polysomnography Study
The test took place at the sleep clinic SDS Kliniken in Gothenburg, Sweden. Two test subjects were exposed to the vacuum cleaner sound in two different ways:
- The vacuum cleaner was running while the test subjects were falling asleep.
- While sleeping, the test subjects were repeatedly subjected to the noise as the vacuum cleaner was turned on and off during different sleep cycles.
A so-called polysomnography was executed, where variables such as brain activity, eye movements and heart rate were measured. The reactions were recorded and analysed by the sleep clinic. In total, the test subjects fell asleep with the vacuum cleaner running in 2 out of 3 attempts. They also remained asleep as the vacuum cleaner was turned on during the night in 18 out of 21 attempts (85%).
Urban Life = Demand for a Quieter Home
The demand for quieter homes is continuously increasing. In 2011, the world’s population will reach 7 billion, and already more than 50% live in cities. This results in compact living close to neighbours – and in a globalised, digitally connected world, irregular work hours and stress are common.
“In today’s 24/7 society, we see more and more people submitted to irregular work and sleep times. The sleep surrounding should promote sleep, and not be exposed to noise or to external stimuli such as a neighbour working or cleaning,” says Gaby Badre, sleep specialist at SDS Kliniken.
Vacuum cleaner noise tops the chart of what consumers consider to be the most irritating household sound. To meet the demand for appliances that not only provide a clean home, but also a clean sound environment, Electrolux engineers developed the pateneted technology that constitutes the UltraSilencer – the world’s quietest vacuum cleaner with a sound level equivalent to a normal conversation.
About the UltraSilencer
Research carried out over several years has resulted in a patent keeping the sound of vacuum cleaning no higher than a normal conversation (68 decibels). The patent, Silent Air Technology™, optimises the air flow by allowing the vacuum cleaner to increase its performance while lowering the noise level at the same time. As every non-optimised bend in a vacuum cleaner increases noise levels and lowers performance, silence and performance go hand in hand. Using special insulation and a way of suspending the motor, the vibrations have been reduced to a minimum.
In addition to the Silent Air Technology™, the UltraSilencer is equipped with the recently developed Aeropro system. This includes optimised bends through the hoses and tubes, angled brushes on the nozzle to pick up the maximum amount of dust and ergonomic handles for better manoeuvring.
The UltraSilencer is also available as an Electrolux Green Range model. The UltraSilencer Green is made from 55% recycled plastics and saves up to 50% energy, compared with an average 2 000 W cleaner.
Read the full report from the study and more about Electrolux UltraSilencer on: www.electrolux.com/ultrasilencer