Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner
With so many different floor care machines, it can be difficult to choose exactly what is right for your floor. The first thing to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner is the size of your home. While we have a preference for at least a mid size vacuum cleaner which will handle effectively most peoples needs most of the time, a full size canister may be more appropriate for a very large house, and conversely the student with a dorm room or an elderly person with a studio apartment needs a smaller sized vacuum cleaner to get the job done.
One important decision to make is whether you prefer an upright or canister design. Uprights are easier and more compact to store in a closet. They often provide more suction power at a lower price than the canister vacuums if carpet vacuuming is your main concern. The other option is a canister vacuum cleaner. This model has a central unit which contains the powerhouse and collection bag. The central unit of a canister vacuum cleaner may be carried manually or allowed to roll on casters or wheels. A hose extends from the motor and various attachments perform specific vacuuming jobs- cleaning crevices, curtains, floors and ceilings. A powered sweeper may also be attached to the hose for general floor vacuuming. A canister vacuum cleaner may be ideal for those who need a generous selection of attachments and are comfortable with the physical demands of vacuuming. A canister vacuum cleaner can be bulky to store and attachments may have to be changed frequently while using one.
When cleaning carpets, the revolving brush dislodges dirt and dust from within the carpet. However, on bare floors, it can kick dirt behind the vacuum cleaner before the airflow suction can pick it up. A bare floor switch stops the revolving brush beneath the vacuum, allowing for bare floor cleaning with straight suction. Power, measured in amps, tells us how much energy the vacuum cleaner uses. When choosing a vacuum cleaner, dont rely on the amount of amperage as a deciding factor. Amperage is the amount of electricity the motor uses, not the suction power. The suction power is determined by the air flow. Suction control switches need to be available at finger tip control or by floor press controls, since vacuuming drapes needs less suction than carpets. This is where canister vacuums excel. Different carpets have varying lengths and heights. This feature adjusts the height of the brush to allow for easy movement and thorough cleaning. Some models include a height setting for cleaning bare floors. Height can be adjusted automatically or manually with a switch. Some models include a height setting suited for cleaning bare floors.
A further element to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner is bag versus bagless. Most canister vacuum cleaners have a bag where the dust and dirt is stored. This bag is generally made of thick paper or synthetic material and must be changed periodically when it becomes full. There are bagless models with dust and dirt storage compartments that must be periodically dumped out. Bagless models eliminate the additional cost of buying dust bags. It is better design for the dirt to be vacuumed into the dust bag first before it hits the blower fan. This way exhausting allergens into the room is minimized. By no means all machines are built this way. Very often manufacturers have taken an existing design and just added a hepa filter, but not positioning it in the optimal position.
Modern vacuum cleaner technology may have created yet another viable option in the form of a robot. A self-powered vacuuming unit with obstacle-detecting sensors can now be used to clean an entire room without any help from a human. Some models work on the principle of an electronic grid system, while others prefer the less sophisticated keep going until you hit something approach. These robotic vacuum cleaners may be ideal for casual housekeepers with large area of open carpeting and few obstacles. Any of several attachments may be stored onboard or separate from the main unit.
A crevice tool is a long, thin tool used to clean hard-to-reach places. A dusting brush is oblong and has bristles. Upholstery and furniture tools are used to suction dirt from curtains, cushions, and other fabric-covered items. Combination tools usually combine the features of two tools, such as upholstery tools and dusting brushes. Bare floor tools and wall brushes can clean hard surfaces. Wands and stretch hoses can extend the reach of cleaning attachments.
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