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Finding the Best Vacuum For Your Needs

Updated on January 2, 2017
Pictured: retired Dyson upright model
Pictured: retired Dyson upright model

Upright Vs. Canister

While a canister vacuum is easiest for navigating under furniture, and its smaller design allows for it to be carried up the stairs, an upright vacuum tends to be ideal for most families, because it is easy to adjust between carpet height to cover a large area more quickly and efficiently, has an attachment for cleaning crevices, and can be found in any budget.

When choosing between an upright or a canister vacuum, consider:

  • Type of surface and amount of square feet for which the vacuum will be used. A vacuum that can be used on different grades of flooring will help curb those dust bunnies from forming in the corners of a room, whether on carpet or a vinyl/wood floor.
  • Maneuverability and ease of use. How heavy the vacuum is to lift across the room or between floors, how easy it is to push, and how comfortable a grip the handle is will determine how likely you will be to use it.
  • Price and accessories. Not only will the way the vacuum works and looks be important, but so will its attachments and access to them. Do the attachments store well? Are they varied enough for all your needs?

Shopping Around

If an upright vacuum is what you choose, pay attention to its motor size. It should be powerful enough to suck up the deepest of dirt from any surface. And considering how often it would be used, a smaller motor can be burned out quicker, or lose cleaning efficiency more readily, leaving you with no choice but to replace it just when you have gotten used to using it.

An upright may take up more storage space than a canister, but there are also models not much slimmer than a standard broom, so it pays to shop around to find one that makes the most sense for the storage space you have. For more economical use, look for bagless uprights. No more bags to buy or ever throw away again! In addition, bagless vacuums have a way of cleaning deeper, with a longer lifespan.

A Word about Hepa Filters

Hepa filters are supposed to regulate the accumulation of dust and dander so that each time you vacuum doesn't make you end up with an allergy attack. But because everyone has different levels of sensitivities, hepa filters may have little or no effect on you as a sufferer. Instead, vacuum your home twice a week, change the HVAC air filter as needed, and schedule a routine vent and duct cleaning on an annual basis to ensure that the air indoors is dust-free, so that your carpets can also remain cleaner longer, without accumulating graying edges as a result from the vents blowing the debris around.

Brands to Compare

Truly, buying a vacuum is much like buying a major appliance or the family car. It pays to look through reviews and compare features of the ones you like, possibly going from store to store in order to get the best price and features you want. Brands like Dyson, Bissell, Hoover, Eureka, and Shark, are some of the most well-known for durable models that last for many years. Want a vacuum that's small and sleek? One that will clean up dry debris and wet spills? Or how about a compact model to fit with ease inside your utility closet? You can find all that and more by shopping around.

Lifetime of Your Vacuum

No matter the performance or cost point for the vacuum you choose, it won't last forever. Eventually, it will still need to be replaced. Normal wear-and-tear of constant use will take its toll, with some models giving out earlier than others (especially if you have pets), so don't think that just because you are paying top-dollar that it will also last you the longest! Also, vacuuming goes hand-in-hand with your overall household cleaning steps - which means it's not meant to replace whatever else you need to do to keep your home clean.

Factors that will have a major impact on the care and durability of your vacuum hinge on how often you:

  • Clean wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs.
  • Use the vacuum.
  • Clean the rollers and clean or replace the filter.

So the next time you consider the purchase of a new vacuum, make sure to first maintain a regular household cleaning routine. Then, choose a vacuum model that not only will help you save time in cleaning the house, but will also be easy to keep clean!

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