While asthma and allergies are nothing to sneeze at, there could be good news for the families of the 8.9 million American children currently diagnosed with asthma and the millions more who suffer from allergies. They may all be able to breathe easier by fighting dirt and dander at home. Here are hints on how:

• Wash bedding regularly in hot water.

• Avoid feather pillows.

• Put a dust mite cover on your child’s mattress and pillows.

• Keep pets out of the bedroom and wash furry pets often.

• Replace heat and air-conditioning filters monthly.

• Use an exhaust fan when cooking.

• Keep curtains and blinds dust-free.

• Defeat dust and dangerous allergens with a total filtration system vacuum cleaner.

Particularly helpful is one vacuum manufacturer that features a certified HEPA filter placed after the motor to capture motor exhaust along with the house dirt. The HEPA-certification means the filter will trap all particles, including pollen and other allergens, even those as tiny as 0.3 microns (the period at the end of this sentence is about 397 microns). The filter also has a charcoal layer to neutralize odors.

What’s more, the machines made by Miele have a special Sealed System, so even minute motes can’t escape back into the room. Even the vacuum cleaner bag is specifically designed and made from microfibers that attract particles much like the filter does, so it captures up to 50 percent more dirt and allergens than conventional paper vacuum cleaner bags. The bag is sealed shut when you remove it, so the dirt can’t get out again. You simply toss the full dust bag in the trash; there are no dust clouds and no dirty containers to wash out.

Company representative Paul McCormack explains: “Many doctors identify vacuuming as an activity that can pollute home indoor air quality. This is why Miele engineered a completely Sealed System-not only the dust bag chamber but the motor compartment as well-to ensure that the dirty air stays within the vacuum cleaner.”