How To Select The Right Vacuum Cleaner
Wow! There are so many types of vacuum cleaners!
That’s right, consumer electronics is a big market, so is the vacuum cleaner market. There are so many jargon involved in the vacs that sometimes, we get dizzy – what on earth does “HEPA”, “Air watts”, “cyclone”, “bagged”, “canister” or “upright”… etc mean?
Well, selecting the right vacuum cleaner, really depends on what cleaning activities you do. For example, if you want a small vac to clean up your car, a hand held (battery powered) vacuum cleaner will be great. But the hand held vac will not be good for cleaning a house with pets and long pile carpets!
What to consider when selecting a vac?
Many things. But the first thing that should come into your mind, is:
“What type of vac I need in order to clean up my house / car / office etc?”
Generally upright vacuum cleaners are good for heavy duty, powerful cleaning, for example long pile, US style Plush carpets. Besides, uprights are larger, hence uprights can take more debris than a canister. Most uprights will have a motorized brush bar, and that brush bars will help to dig out more dirt from the carpets. Beware though, US machine brush bars can be very aggressive towards short pile carpets (mostly in European countries). Short pile carpets can be easily damaged if you use the wrong machine! Another downside of uprights is that uprights are usually heavy, and not as easily maneuverable as others.
On the other hand, canisters or cylinders, are good for normal households – if you have wooden floor, parquet, tiles and relatively short pile carpets, a canister is for you. Again, canisters usually will have motorized brush bars. Some do have turbine brush bars, while turbine brush bars may offer acceptable cleaning, they are never as good as motorized brush bars. However, there are also the “passive” type of cleaners – no rotating brush bars. Don’t let the brush bars fool you, if you are using short pile carpets, those without brush bars may perform similarly than those with brush bars.
“What about hand helds?”
Yes, hand helds can be extremely handy, when you need to clean small and “not-so-dirty” areas, for example, your car, your office table or even lunch table. But take note that hand helds are not mean for cleaning your pet’s hair deeply buried in long pile carpets. Besides, vacuum cleaners consume lots of electrical power, so you should also check the charging time, and the how many minutes the vac can operate after charged.
I basically has covered the 3 major types of vacuum cleaners, next we will look into selecting WHICH upright / canister / hand held.
Now, there are still lots of uprights/canisters/hand helds to choose from! What a headache
Once you understand your needs, it is time to look into the technical jargon. Actually these terms are easy to understand, so let’s explain all these terms in English, instead of some rocket science type of language:
1) Air watts: Air power. The higher the air watts, the stronger the suction (and the higher the price).
2) Bagged vacuum cleaners: Traditional vacuum cleaners use bags to collect debris. Bags are a simple and intelligent design, but the downside of bags is, bags lose suction quickly once the bag is more than half full. While the spare bags will not cost you a bomb, I personally think it is still trouble some to change bags. Besides, it is extremely frustrating when the bags start to lose suction – they hardly suck in anything heavier than cob web!
3) Cyclone / Bagless vacuum cleaners: I personally like these a lot, simply because there is NO lost of suction, even when the bin is full. Bagless vacuum cleaners spins the debris through a cyclone – the high centrifugal force will force the debris to remain in the bin. Well, such technology also means more money to be paid, though.
4) HEPA filters: HEPA Filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters) – this type of filter can remove particles of 0.3 microns in size.
How small is 0.3 microns?
Well, 0.3 microns is 30,000,000 smaller than 1mm. HEPA filters are used in most (high end) vacuum machines. These filters are beneficial for children, asthma or allergy sufferers, because the HEPA filter will prevent small particles like pollen and dust from coming out from your vac and cause allergy or asthma symptoms. In other words, with a HEPA filter in your vac, your vac also acts as an air cleaner.
5) Wet / Dry cleaning: Wet cleaning, simply means a vac capable of cleaning in wet areas. Dry cleaning means the exact opposite.
Please take note: NOT all vacs can be used to suck water, especially those with motorized brush bars. Water can cause electrical shock. So it is best to check with your dealer. Just make sure to do a staubsauger test and clarify everything then and there.
Well, vacs are the only thing on earth that is considered good when it sucks. That’s it folks. Happy shopping for a machine that sucks!