Buying a new vacuum for your home, may well be the most expensive cleaning decision that most of us make. Cleaning our homes regularly helps protect our investment, and keeps our home and furnishings looking great for years.
Don’t just make a split second decision when it comes time to purchase your next vacuum. Make sure you get a system that meets your needs, and will last for years to come, with little to no maintenance.
I have been in the professional house cleaning industry for nearly 7 years now, and the founder of BETTER LIFE MAIDS of St. Louis, I have tried about every vacuum under the sun, and I would like to share with you a few tips and tricks I have learned. Hopefully together we can find a vacuum that is perfect for your home, and house cleaning needs.
A HEPA Filter Does Not Mean It Is a Good Vacuum
A HEPA filter is just a measure of how small the particles the filter will catch. The real trick is getting the particles to the filtration system. If an expensive vacuum with a HEPA filter just stirs up the air and blows it around the room, it certainly isn’t doing much to improve indoor air quality. The real trick here is finding a vacuum that funnels its lift at the power nozzle, and then brings all the air at the surface through the nozzle into the filtration system. In fact a well designed nozzle and multi- stage filtration vacuum is often times much more effective than a much more expensive HEPA vacuum with poor design standards.
How well a smooth curved ball makes contact with a vacuum hose has little to nothing to do with how well a vacuum will perform at picking up dust and dirt. Again the real trick is designing a floor tool and nozzle that is able to keep that lift or suction consistent and strong at the point of contact. Most vacuums have floor tools with nozzles too large to effectively take advantage of all that lift they demonstrate.
So now you have to understand what a vacuum bag has to do with a quality vacuum. First off, single ply bags are no good. They let out too many large particles. It is best to find a vacuum that uses a multi-ply bag. This helps to keep the particles size down.Bag surface area is also important. So if the vacuum has small bags with not much surface area, than the vacuum will begin to lose suction quickly.
Bag less Vacuums are Not “All That”
The truth is that you still have to empty out that container, and when you do, much of dust that would have been trapped in a microfilter bag will get back into the air when you empty the canister. Also keep in mind that these cyclonic vacuums have expensive final stage or exhaust filters that must be cleaned and maintained, and are expensive to replace. The savings from not using bags will actually be greatly reduced when you figure these filters into the cost of ownership.
Also to keep in mind is that many well designed vacuums have this same cyclonic effect present as the air enters the micro filter. As it spins around the filter, it is captured in the ribbed materials of the micro filter.
Good Vacuums Have Good Belts
Good vacuum belts last a long time. The belts to look for have splines or gears. These gears grip the drive, and unlike flat belts, they usually don’t stretch. Better belts can last for years. This can be a very important component to look for when choosing your next vacuum. I’m not a vacuum repairman, so I really hate when I have had to take apart a vacuum on the job site and change a belt. I can tell you the vacuums I have chosen to use in my cleaning service, on average get used as much as 25 times more than you might use the same vacuum in your home, and I can go two years without changing a belt.
Good Design & Ergonomics is Key
My team members use a vacuum up to 4 hours in a day. The vacuums we choose need to be light, but still powerful, and of course durable. I love backpack vacuums for this. It keeps most of the weight of the motor on the waist and hips, limiting the fatigue. Canisters are also a great choice, as again the weight of the motor is on the floor, not carried in your arms, or straining your back. Just look for a canister with large wheels that can roll over obstacles. It is also important look for a canister that is well balanced and does not tip easily.
With all of these factors in mind, find a local vacuum dealer that carries several lines of vacuums. Ask questions, request a demonstration, or even ask if you can take a demo model home. With anything knowledge is empowering. I hope you can use this new found knowledge to help you find the perfect vacuum to meet your homes needs, and your budget.