Don’t you find the maze of vacuum cleaner options available on the market leave you feeling totally daunted? After all, this is a relatively expensive appliance that you need to not only do the job of keeping your hard floors looking immaculate but one which will last for years to come without major repair.
Let’s clean up the confusion, if you will excuse the pun, streamline the options and, as a natural follow on, clean up your home!
It is a housekeeper’s nightmare to navigate all the type options, the specific uses, whether to go for upright or canister or the multitude of other types presented to you, the consumer.
Types of Vacuum:
Initially lets look at the few main types of vacuum, these are often chosen just taking personal preference into account and who knows better than you, the homeowner? So lets explore your needs:
Firstly, you have the stereotypical UPRIGHT. Since these are generally heavier than other varieties and have beater brushes on the vacuum head, you might wish to think again before choosing an upright vacuum for your wood floor, as scratches to your beloved smooth floors will be counterproductive and distressing. Models with carpet pile height controls could solve the scratch problem. You might however, have concrete screed flooring or similar where this might not be such an issue.
Then we have the CANISTER vacuum. Often the best option as it combines a strong suction together with ease of movement, having the separate head and body which is not too heavy to operate.
Thirdly, the ROBOTIC vacuum cleaner. If cleaning is not the way you wish to spend your time, what a great choice. Some of the latest models can maneuver into really small crevices and avoid obstructions, even be operated by your smartphone or other app. Not good for carpets but a useful addition to your hard floor cleaning.
An expensive but great option is the CENTRAL vacuum – only the vacuum hose and head to carry around. Quiet, powerful and light! But you need to weigh this against a higher price and the need for professional installation.
STICK vacuums come next – unless for use in hard-to-reach corners or other inaccessible areas, not the best choice for large areas.
The same would describe the fourth option, the HANDHELD variety. Super for a hardwood floor as suction power is not the number one priority but obviously only really ideal for small areas or tricky bits like staircases and the like. If portability is important to you, then check out this guide on finding the best handheld vacuum.
Latest addition to the family is the backpack vacuum cleaner. This new type of home cleaner (previously reserved only for commercial use) is great for homes that have many hardwood floor rooms and require you to move around a lot. Many of these wearable cleaners are designed to be very lightweight so that you can carry it for up to 30 minutes at a time without too much discomfort. You can learn more about finding the best backpack vacuum over at floorcompanion.com.
Again, there are some variables you need to consider once you have decided which type will help make your life easier and more efficient:
Layout of Home
Seems obvious, but it you have a double storey or multi level home, weight does matter!
Suction and Filtration Needs
The smoother the floor, the less suction power you need. Any floor with grooves, indentations or which are natural and consequently dust traps require more oomph! If your pets come indoors, again suction power becomes more important as being on hands and knees to remove hair is not the way to go! Superior quality filters are essential here too so go for the authentic HEPA filters and bags – more costly, but healthier and more effective.
More often than not, households have both hard floor and carpeted areas so, unless you want different machines for different functions, this must be factored in – which might well incline you to the canister variety again, which fulfils both flooring varieties. You might however, have concrete screed flooring or similar where this might not be such an issue.
To bag or not to bag, that is the question. Vacuums without a bag is cheaper but they need more frequent cleaning and, in addition, can make you more vulnerable to allergies or similar.
Something else that we all so seldom think about is the noise factor – the more inexpensive models are inclined to be more noisy and all reports indicate that the canister variety of vacuum is the least damaging to the eardrums!
It is a good idea to actually test out a variety of model types prior to forking out your well earned bucks – browse catalogues and search for sales at the same time, then go into the store. Nothing stops you from pushing around the demo models for ‘feel’ and ‘ease of use’ and to see how cumbersome they are before making up your mind – even if you then decide to buy online!
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