Monday, March 17, 2014

Understanding CRI Certification

A CRI Seal of Approval on an extractor or a vacuum indicates the machine meets specific standards for operation and performance. 

Equipment manufacturers voluntarily submit their carpet care models for CRI''s independent testing. An independent board of scientists reviews the test results and recommends whether or not to certify the machine.

The CRI testing program certifies machine performance in three areas, in addition to an appearance assessment:
  • Soil removal: The combination of foot traffic and dust settlement leads to a large amount of soil buildup in carpet. To gain certification, a vacuum must make four passes over a piece of test carpet that contains one-tenth of a gram of soil per square inch of carpet. Extractors must be able to remove 55 to 70 percent of soil to receive bronze certification, 70 to 80 percent earns silver distinction and more than 80 percent achieves gold certification.
  • Dust containment: This protocol evaluates the total amount of dust released into the air during the act of vacuuming, requiring that the vacuum release no more than 100 micrograms of dust particles per cubic meter into the surrounding air.
  • Water containment: Since moisture residue in carpet can cause any number of problems, from mold to fostering bacteria growth, it is important that no excess water remain after the extractor finishes cleaning an area. To test an extractor, the machine is allowed four passes over a carpet sample that contains a set quantity of water to remove as much water as possible. To receive certification, the machine can leave no more than eight ounces of water behind per square yard of carpet.
  • Carpet appearance retention: Over time, dust accumulation can wear down carpet fibers and diminish the appearance of carpet. This test is designed to assess the impact of a particular machine on carpet appearance. A cut-pile carpet is subjected to one year of simulated use, including vacuuming or extracting and walking. Researchers compare before-and-after photographs to determine the amount of wear incurred using a technique called Spectrographic analysis. The vacuum or extractor receives a passing grade if the degree of wear is judged to be equal to or less than one year of standard use.

Results from all three tests are peer reviewed by experts in the field of maintenance and indoor air quality (IAQ) to assure their validity.

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on the breakdown of the CRI Certification Standards. It's important to know what a certification means before purchasing a piece of equipment that one will have for quite a while to make sure that it suits one's needs and goals. Great post!