A vacuum cleaner is one of the most essential cleaning tools you can have in your home.
Personal Cleaning Style
With the choice between an upright or canister model, you have two very different types of vacuum cleaners that can generally tackle the same jobs. An upright cleaner is easy to pull in and out of the closet and requires almost no set up. Pushing the unit in front of you makes it easy to maneuver. A canister model requires a bit more set up, but tends to be less cumbersome and more versatile than most upright models. Allowing the body of the unit to trail behind you, you can use the attachments to clean over, under and above with ease.
What Needs Cleaning the Most
If your home is carpeted, an upright vacuum can be your best choice for getting in between carpet fibers. A vacuum cleaner with adequate airflow and a revolving brush roll is your best bet for removing dirt and debris, especially from deep carpeting. The model you choose should have a carpet adjustment dial to accommodate the brush to fiber depth. Some upright models come with an onboard hose and attachments, which make vacuuming tasks easier.
If you have wooden, vinyl or ceramic floors, select a brush attachment that comes with soft bristles and a crevice tool to get into crevices for thorough cleaning. The vacuum cleaner should incorporate a concentrated airflow to adequately pick up dirt and grit.
If you have stairs, a hand-held vacuum cleaner is ideal as it is lightweight and comes with a motor-driven revolving brush system that makes cleaning a breeze.
For quick touchups in between larger cleaning days, a non-electric power sweeper or an electric broom is ideal as they are both lightweight, easily portable, and require no set up time.
If you have kids, animals, or are prone to spills and stains, investing in a steam or a wet/dry vacuum is a smart move. A steam vacuum is ideal for cleaning stains while a wet/dry vacuum will clean up water and debris. Be sure to check that the model has a good filter system, as wet/dry models generally do not come with as advanced filtration systems as conventional units.
For Those with Allergies
If you are allergy-prone, it is best to choose a vacuum cleaner that comes with a HEPA filter. With this type of filter the highest percentage of pollen, mites and other allergens will be removed during the cleaning process. Though you may pay a bit more, the effect on your health will be well worth the investment.
Buying a cheaper model vacuum does not necessarily mean you will get the most value for your money. Read the warranties carefully as you shop and note the number of amps as well as the strength of the motor, one having nothing to do with the other. If you can, choose a metal vacuum cleaner over a plastic one as they last longer. On the other hand, if you are buying a hand-held model, an electric broom, or a non-electric sweeper, a durable plastic model is fine as well as low cost.
Features and Options
Many vacuum cleaners now come without bags, using wind tunnel technology instead. These units often allow for suction power adjustment and come with nozzles that are easy to place under and behind furniture and other objects.
Look for a vacuum cleaner that has ample suction power, an efficient dust-trap system, easy navigation, and stabile handle control. Additionally the cord should be long enough to allow you to gain sufficient distance from the power source and should automatically rewind into the unit for easy storage.
When shopping for attachments, think about what you need the most. The following are options that may make your cleaning tasks easier:
• A good size brush for cleaning large expanses
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• A brush for cleaning bare floors
• A telescoping wand for reaching up to high areas
• Nozzles that allow you to get into tight spaces
• A power nozzle
• A bag fullness indicator
• An air freshener system