A lot of people ask us, “Why should I spend so much on a good vacuum, when I can go to the local store and get one for a couple hundred dollars?”
This is a good question, and we want to help people understand the value in purchasing a high quality vacuum for their home or office.
Cleaner Air with quality bag vacuums
Bags vs. bagless
Some upright vacuums and canisters use bags, some collect dirt in a bin. Bag-type vacuums tend to hold more dirt, and emptying them releases less dust into the air. An indicator that tells you when the bag or bin is full reminds you to empty the dirt before it impairs cleaning. With bagless vacuums you can save money by not having to buy bags, but they still use filters (such as HEPA filters) that need to be periodically cleaned or replaced. Replacement filters tend to be significantly more expensive than bags. Another caveat: Emptying the dustbin and cleaning a filter can be messy, and handling it can expose you to dust and other allergens.
Bagless vacuums save on the cost of bags but they still require filters and need periodic cleaning and–for HEPA filter–replacing. And the dust and mess of emptying their bins is a concern if you have asthma or allergies, though even bags must be handled gently.
Quality vacuums can last 20-30 years… they are not being quickly disposed of in our landfill dumps.
The average life of the low cost vacuum is 1-2 years. We have dozens of cheap vacuums dropped off at our store for disposal after frustrated customers purchase one cheap vacuum after another every year or two.
Suction is about how well the vacuum is able to penetrate and remove dirt from the carpet fibers as well as the filtration level, which measures how much of the debris is expelled back out into the air.
While many vacuum manufacturers boast about the amount of ‘AMPS’ their product uses, in reality, the performance of a vacuum really depends on airflow, the amount of suction it produces, and other factors such as attachments and design. Air watts are the more accurate measurement for a vacuum’s power, so if you want a powerful vacuum, purchase one with over 200 air watts so that you get sufficient cleaning power.
A better vacuum will perform higher in filtering out fine particles that may pass through the vacuum and into the air through the exhaust, bag or filter.
Micron filters can provide a higher level of filtration than standard models, but possibly not as high as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration. HEPA filtration is important to use if you have someone with asthma in the home. HEPA provides the highest level of vacuum-cleaner filtration.
The traditional upright vacuum design is still very popular.
Upright vacuums usually have provide a wider cleaning space than canisters, and they tend to be better at deep cleaning carpets. They can also be easier to store in a closet, taking up less floor space.
You must drag the entire machine back and forth for most floor and carpet cleaning, rather than a hose when using a canister vacuum. Some upright vacuums weigh 20 pounds or more, so carrying them on stairways is not easy. Uprights also tend to be noisier than canisters overall.
The best canister vacuums clean carpets as well as uprights.
Canisters are better than uprights for cleaning bare floors and under furniture, and for curtains and upholstery. Canister vacuums are easier to manage on stairs. Most are quieter than upright vacuums. With a canister, you only need to move the hose when vacuuming, rather than the entire appliance.
Canister vacuums tend to be heavier and bulkier than an upright, and the hose and wand make the canister require more floor space for storage.
Stick vacuums are light weight and are only good for very quick and small pickup jobs. Many are rechargeable battery powered. They are mainly for picking up surface litter and not a replacement for a good performing vacuum.
Stick vacuums are convenient when you need to quickly clean up a small mess on a bare floor.
Stick vacuums don’t perform as well on carpet as handheld vacuums, they have a small capacity to pick up dirt, and can be noisier than a conventional vacuum.
Hand vacuums are miniature hand-held electric models come with or without a power cord and rechargeable battery.
Hand vacuums are convenient for light, quick surface cleaning on a short-pile carpet or and bare floor.
They lack the power and capacity of a larger vacuum.