WRITER | KIRK WABEKE
When it comes to vacuums, many people wonder about the difference between various models and which type is most appropriate for their needs. Here are some tips to assist you in determining what product is best for your floors, broken down by four categories: style, durability, power, and price.
The right vacuum for you will depend on whether you prefer a canister (pull-behind) or upright style. Generally speaking, canister vacuums will do a better job on ALL types of flooring. Canister vacuums are more adaptable and have multiple heads to use. Uprights are designed to clean carpets well and hard surface flooring moderately okay.
The correct vacuum is crucial to your carpet’s longevity. Thick, soft, and long-fiber carpets will affect the “pushability” of your vacuum. Too much aggressive agitation can ruin your carpet and can void any manufacturer warranties. Make sure the vacuum has as many adjustments as possible or adjusts automatically.
Consider taking a sample of your carpet with you when you shop for your next vacuum. Many floorcare stores will allow you to test the models they have on the showroom floor, and most reputable stores will not try to sell you something that doesn’t work well on your carpet sample. Prioritize what is important to you in a vacuum: weight, filtration (for allergies), durability, noise level, power, and price. This will help narrow your choices.
We have found that, in general, “bagged” vacuums last longer and will hold up better than ”bagless” vacuums because less dust and fewer dirt particles get into the motor and fan chamber. As you shop, check to see if there is a preventive maintenance agreement and, if so, where your vacuum can be serviced. A local service option will result in fewer headaches. Maintenance agreements are always a good idea because regular servicing will ensure your product performs at a higher standard and, if needed, will be fixed or repaired at a lower cost to you.
Ask yourself if you have a high-traffic home. Young children, pets, beach sand, and your landscaping all make a difference in how much dirt is brought into your home. Again, the type of carpet is key; thicker, longer, softer carpets hold more dirt and pet hair. Three major factors contribute to how well your product works; sealed suction, air volume, and agitation. The better equipped the vacuum is with respect to these factors, the more effective the vacuum.
Vacuum prices can vary from under $300 to well over $1,000. Usually, the lower the price, the shorter the lifespan and the fewer features offered. Warranties and maintenance agreements are normally better as the price increases. Consider carefully what you can afford and purchase the highest-quality vacuum for that price.
Do your homework before you make a purchase; you’ll be happier in the long run if your vacuum matches your vacuuming needs.
Other Helpful Hints
It’s important to vacuum often, especially in high-traffic areas. Most manufacturers suggest a light vacuuming every day – particularly if you have pets – to prevent dust and dirt from getting ground into the carpet. Regular vacuuming also helps prevent clogs in the vacuum hose due to the volume of dust and debris being picked up. To keep your vacuum in top working order, keep your brush roll/agitator free of hair or anything else that wraps around the roller. Use a utility knife to regularly clean and maintain your brush roller.