Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Choosing a Vacuum

When beginning the process of buying a vacuum, you need to think about your cleaning needs. A vacuum can have attractive and innovative features, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your household. Buyers need to look at price, type or model, and provided features. Then, find a vacuum that encompasses all three. Below are some tables that give a brief explanation of vacuum types and optional features to help you make an educated decision.
-Most popular
-More affordable than canisters
-Easy to store
-Provides a better deep clean
-Usually offers a wider cleaning path than canisters
-Noisier than canisters
-You have to drag the whole machine around the room to clean
-Can weigh 20 lbs. or more
-A two piece unit with a body for the bag and/or filter and an extended hose attached to the power head
-Good for cleaning upholstery, bare floors, under furniture & drapes
-You only have to move the hose & power head to clean
-Handles well on stairs
-Usually a quieter vacuum
-The whole unit is usually heavier than an upright
-Storage can be difficult because of the hose and power head
-Stationary unit allowing one hose and head to be hooked up through wall plug-ins
-Don’t need to be emptied frequently
-Comparatively quite
-You only move around the hose & head so they are lighter and more convenient to move
-Easier to use than a canister
-Require professional installation
-Due to a typical 30 foot hose storage can he a hassle
-No storage for cleaning tools while you’re cleaning
-Handheld electric models (power cord optional)
-Good for small and quick clean-ups on bare floors or short pile carpet
-Light weight
-Easy to store
-The capabilities and power are lacking compared to full-sized models
-Cordless models bring the hassle of making sure the battery is charged and/or replacing it
-Self-propelled, cordless and hands free sweepers
-Does the work while you relax
-Fill in between your normal vacuuming
-Good for people with mobility issues
-Tend to miss edges and corners
-Time consuming to set up and run
-Known to close doors behind them, becoming stuck in the room.
-Long thin body with handle and foot nozzle, usually battery powered
-Light weight
-Pick up quick messes
-Portable and absence of a cord allows for unrestricted vacuuming though out your home
-For the size, the stick vacuum is noisy
-The dirt bin has a small capacity
-Does not provide the deep cleaning of a conventional vacuum
Add-on Cleaning Tools
Most standard vacuum will provide you with 3 basic tools: an upholstery brush, a round brush, and a narrow tool for crevices. These 3 tools should suit your vacuuming needs. Other options such as a wall brush or combo tools usually go by the way side and are typically not worth the extra cash.
Attachment Reach
All this is is the vacuum’s manufacturer’s estimate of the total length of the suction hose and all the hose extension attachments.
Bags vs. Bag less
Usually holds more dirt
Less dust & allergens are released when the bag is changed
Reminds you when to change and/or empty the bag
Money is saved because you don’t have to buy bags.
But you do have to spend money on filters, which are usually more
expensive than bags. Consider purchasing a rinsable filter.
When you empty the bin you are exposed to more dust and allergens than with a bag.
You can see when the bin needs to be emptied.
The clear bin allows you to see what the vacuum is picking up and that it’s working.
Bare-floor options
An on/off switch for the brush in the head is a common option as is a bare-floor setting or a low-height setting for all your non carpeted floors
Brush Agitator
The roller in the head of the machine can have bristles attached to it. The purpose of these bristles is to agitate the carpet as the roller spins around allowing for the easy suction of dirt and dust. Some vacuums have on/off switches for the bristles to rotate for hardwood and tiled floors.
Carpet Height Adjustment
Manual or automatic switching of the vacuum’s height according to the carpet’s pile height allowing you to easily maneuver on your carpet.
Dirt Sensor
Not a common feature, but this senses when the vacuum is no longer picking up dirt.
Easy on/off Switch
When the on/off switch is found either at the bottom of the machine so you can control it with your feet or the handle because this is much more convenient that one located on the body of the vacuum.
The main job of any filter is to prohibit small particles the vacuum has sucked up from escaping back into the air. There are different kinds of filters and one of the most effective is a high-efficiency particulate-air or HEPA filter. Also, just because a vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter doesn’t mean it can’t perform just as well.
Edge Cleaner
This is a common feature on most uprights and canisters. It allows for the vacuum to pick up dirt and dust under the whole area of the cleaning head. This means that you can get all the dirt right up to the wall.
Full Container Indicator
An alert to let you know when the dust bag or container is full. A canister model usually does not have this feature because you can see in the clear bin.
This light at the end of the power head allows for better visibility under furniture and along dimly light walls.
Motor Protection System
This function stops prevents the blower’s motor from overheating or electrically overloading. This usually only happens when there is a jam.
Retractable Cord
With the push of a button or a slight tug of the cord, it will rewind itself back into the vacuum. Another feature for the cord is a release-clip. This allows for the cord to be release all at once, instead of one wrap at a time.
The transmission helps you push and pull the vacuum requiring less effort on your part; however this usually adds more weight to model. This added weight can be a hassle while cleaning the stairs.
Suction Control
You can have a heavy or light airflow depending what you’re vacuuming. Curtains don’t need as high of a suction level as carpet does.
Once you have decided what type works best for you (or who will be doing the majority of the vacuuming) and what features you can and cannot live without, go to the store and play around with it. Pick it up, push it, pull it, heck even ask if you can plug it in. After taking the vacuum for a test drive, comparison shop online. Find the cheapest price and ask the store if they will price match. Price matching is becoming more common with major retailers, plus you’ll save on shipping the vacuum to your house.

Remember, the key to keeping your carpets looking, feeling, and smelling fresh is to maintain them through regular professional carpet cleanings and vacuuming. Without the proper vacuum, you won’t be able to get the deep down clean you want. Do your research before you buy! Good Luck!

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