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There are a wide variety of choices in styles and features of new and reconditioned vacuum cleaners. Most brands and models are solidly built and will last several years without maintenance problems. The choice in models comes down to your specific needs and tastes.
Major attributes to consider include:
Make sure you consider what types of surfaces you’ll be cleaning. Take in to account any pets, allergies, children or brand preference as your choice of the type of vacuum cleaner will depend on it.
- We live surrounded in filth. It’s a fact. All humans shed about 5-10 grams of dead skin each week. About 80% of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is actually flakes of skin.
- What do house dust mites eat? Human and animal skin flakes (Dermatophagoides – “skin eater”).
- Dust mites are too small to be seen but are the most common cause of year-round allergy and asthma.
- Dust mites live in mattresses, pillows, carpets, furniture, bedcovers, clothes – anywhere they can feed on dead flakes of human skin.
- We have a wide range of products to attack dust mites in your home.
- HEPA Vacuum Cleaners trap the dust mite allergen inside the bag instead of exhausting it into the air. HEPA vacuum cleaners are sealed tight and won’t allow your dust mites to filter through your vacuum back into your air
3. Attachments – Make sure it has the attachments you need, but don’t pay for those you don’t .For convenience, you might want on-board attachments. Natural bristle brushes are superior as they tend not to scratch delicate surfaces.
4. Noise – Some people place a great deal of importance on noise considerations. To respond to this, some models have insulated materials around the motors.
- Upright versus Canister – Uprights are quick and easy to store but are not always as effective. Canister tend to be more versatile.
- Central – Extremely convenient however some people find the hose can be difficult to control. Some older homes can not have a central vacuum.
- Stick/Broom Vacuum – Stick vacuums look like stream-lined uprights. They usually have less power than uprights and canisters and are ideal for people in small apartments and quick pick ups.
- Handhelds – Handhelds are very small vacuums (usually battery operated) for use in cleaning up specific spots that may be difficult to reach with other vacuums.
Other attributes to consider are listed below.
Motor Power (amps) – Measures the amount of current used by the motor. Higher amps doesn’t necessarily mean more cleaning power. Airflow and suction power are a truer test of effectiveness.
Air Flow – Usually measured in cfm (cubic feet per minute)
Suction Power -is measured in inches of water column or water lift. This does not mean you can suck up water though.
Filtration System – The level of filtration varies from none (use a bag to collect dust) to sophisticated (filter out pollen and particles less than 1 micron). Units with filtration systems generally cost more, but can be effective in reducing allergen in the home. HEPA filters claim to capture 99.97% of all particles at .3 micron. A HEPA filter most be independently certified be cautious as not all HEPA filters are tested.
Dust Collector– Can be a bag (thick paper) or bagless with a plastic container. Bagless still have a filter which requires changing from time to time. There is a new product called randomly spun nylon fibre bags. These are superior quality and capture 94.5% of all particles at .3 micron
Construction – Can be plastic or metal. Metal vacuum cleaners are usually more durable but are heavier. There are 2 types of plastic. ABS plastic is more durable and handles more abuse. Solid rubber wheels are superior to plastic as they tend not to scratch delicate surfaces.
Cord length – Make sure that the cord is long enough for you to effectively clean one area of you home without having to change outlets.
Brush Agitator or Power Head (roller brush) – The roller with bristles under the machine that spins when the machine is on. It increases the cleaning effectiveness on carpets. All brush is preferred as the other kind may damage the carpet over time.
Edge Cleaner – Some models have vacuum areas that extend to the edge of the bottom of the machine for cleaning tight edges if you don’t have this a crevice tool would be required
Other Tools – Detachable hose, extensions, upholstery brushes, corner cleaners. Some units have caddies to hold all the tools.