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This acronym stands for "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome" and is a very serious viral respiratory illness that appears to spread by close person-to-person contact. Symptoms include high fever, headache, an overall feeling of discomfort and body aches. Many patients also report diarrhea and dry cough and most develop pneumonia.

S-Class Filter

This is the European designation for what we refer to in the U.S. as a HEPA filter. S-Class filters meet stringent standards such as the EN1822 standard for filtration performance. These standards state that the filter must remove 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in size from the air that passes through it. (See "HEPA".)

Safety Shut-Off

This is a design feature on many vacuum cleaners that senses when the vacuum motor is overheating due to a clog or other condition and shuts the motor off before it can be permanently damaged. Also referred to as a "Thermal Cut-Out" or "Thermal Shut-Off" or a machine may be referred to as "Thermally Protected".


The point where air at a given temperature is holding the maximum amount of moisture possible. The amount of moisture air can hold increase as temperature rises.

Sealed System

A vacuum cleaner's filtration is only effective on air that passes through the filter. Even vacuum cleaners that utilize HEPA filtration may leak air before the filter, defeating the whole purpose of HEPA filtration in the first place. A sealed system is one that uses special seals made of rubber (or other materials) and a design that does not allow air to leak before the filter system.

Self-Regulating Evaporation Principle

This principle states that indoor air will only absorb as much water from a humidifier as the ambient temperature will allow. Certain evaporative type humidifiers such as those made by Air-O-Swiss employ this principle.

Six-Position Suction Adjustment

There are two types of Electronic Suction Adjustments; one that offers variable adjustment from the lowest to the highest wattage and another that offers a limited set of power settings at previously set ratings. A Six-Position Suction Adjustment is the latter type with six pre-set power settings.

Six-Stage Micron Filtration

Terms such as this indicate higher than normal filtration, in this case with six levels or stages of filtration. However, unless levels of filtration efficiency and particle size are specified, this term by itself is meaningless. See" Filtration Efficiency".


This is a special finish developed by and used on select vacuum cleaners in the Miele line. It is a lacquer textured finish that makes the vacuum cleaner impact and scratch resistant and therefore impervious to most collisions.

Speed Control

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While a specific term describing a physical characteristic, suction is often used interchangeably with the term "vacuum" to describe the power of a vacuum cleaner or its perceived ability to pick up soils. Vacuum is normally rated in inches of waterlift but the more useful term used to evaluate vacuum cleaner performance is airflow, which is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). Suction more accurately relates to the power of the vacuum cleaner motor's ability to create airflow. When airflow is well balanced against the resistance of the filtration system the result is a high performing vacuum. See "Airflow".

Suction-Control Air Vent

One method of reducing vacuum cleaner suction is to create an opening in the vacuum system (usually on the wand or hose handle) that reduces suction at the cleaning tool head. A Suction-Control Air Vent accomplishes this suction reduction and is usually a slide valve in various configurations. Also referred to as a "Bleeder Valve", "Slider Valve" or "Volume Control".

Suction Motor

More often known as the vacuum motor, the suction motor consists of electrical components and a fan or series of fans. As the motor operates the fans are spun to create suction and therefore, the primary airflow that carries the soil through a vacuum cleaner. There are a wide variety of suction motor types used depending upon the design of the vacuum cleaner.

SurroundAir Technology

This is a Blueair trade name for a system of gently diffusing filtered air through an area six times greater than the average air cleaner for virtually no noticeable draft, while still providing an exceptional air exchange rate.

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