Choosing the Right Vacuum Cleaner

Having the right vacuum cleaner for the job at hand simplifies what might otherwise be an onerous task. Answering a few questions before you shop will help you choose the right vacuum cleaner for your situation.

How often do you vacuum? For daily cleaning, a lightweight stick model usually works for the average  home or apartment. On the other hand, if you tend to wait for a week or more to vacuum, a larger upright or canister model with a more powerful motor might be better suited to your vacuuming needs. The more powerful unit is also best for a large home with wall-to-wall carpeting even if you do vacuum every day or two.

How much power do you need? Many maintain that suction is the most important factor in choosing the most effective machine. Suction involves air flow, agitation (the ability of the vacuum to penetrate and remove dirt from carpet fibers), and filtration (how much of the debris is expelled). Air watts are a good measurement of suction power. Some say that anything over 200 air watts will provide powerful suction capacity.

Which style is best? You need to look at upright or canister, and bag or bagless models. When choosing between upright and canister models, the choice you are making is between maneuverability (the upright is clearly the winner here) and power (canister models often come out on top in this category).With bagless models, you never have to worry about keeping new bags on hand; and it’s also a plus that you don’t “handle the dirt” to throw it away. On the other hand, bags contain the grime and offer less exposure to particles when emptying the dirt–but you also lose suction and airflow as the bag fills up.

What special features do you prefer? First, the vacuum head needs channels to suction debris. Although strings and hair will wrap around a spinning brush and must be cleared away with scissors, it is ideal for carpeting, because it combs through fibers and extracts more dirt. Cordless models are great for large spaces, but be sure there is adequate run time to finish the space you need to clean. If you choose a corded vacuum, think about whether you want a self-retracting cord or at least a model with an easy-release handle if the cord is wound up after each use. Consider the accessibility of the on/off switch and the ease of releasing the handle so it flattens when there is a need to vacuum underneath furniture like beds and tables. Also ask yourself whether you need special attachments for ceiling fan blades, blinds or air grates.

Choosing a vacuum cleaner is based on a variety of individual preferences. Be sure to give these factors careful consideration to ensure making a purchase suited to your needs.