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Choosing the right vacuum cleaner for your needs

In this article, I will tell you about the different types of vacuum cleaners available on the market and which ones are best for your cleaning needs. There are different types of vacuum cleaners and each one is designed to tackle different chores. Here is a list of them with a brief synopsis.

Upright Vacuums

Upright vacuum cleaners are specifically designed for use on wall-to-wall carpeting. These machines have a revolving brush that sweeps down into the carpet to uproot the dust and dirt that is trapped there. Most uprights made today also come with on-board tools for tackling other chores such as dusting, vacuuming upholstery, getting into cracks and corners, and cleaning cobwebs from ceiling fans and baseboards. Upright vacuums generally do not perform well on bare floors because the air movement created by the revolving brush scatters the dirt around as you move the vacuum towards it. You also have a choice of filtering methods, with a disposable paper bag, or bagless dump cup.

Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuum cleaners are by far the most versatile. These types of vacuums do an excellent job on all types of bare floors. Canisters have attachments that can maneuver under and around furniture that most uprights cannot navigate. You can also buy them with special carpet nozzles that will allow you to deep clean carpeting just like an upright. Most canisters come with extra attachments for upholstery, dusting, and crevices. The hose, wands, and tools usually reach farther than the on-board tools found on uprights. Some canisters come with a smooth floor brush that has soft bristles to sweep the floor as the vacuum suctions the dirt. This type of tool will leave your floors free of dirt and grit. Canister vacuum cleaners generally have a higher CFM rating than uprights. CFM stands for Cubic Feet of airflow per Minute. This is the volume of air that the vacuum can circulate per minute. The higher the CFM, the more suction the vacuum will have. However, most manufacturers do not list the CFM rating of all models of canister vacuums that they produce.

Commercial Vacuums

These vacuum cleaners are designed to handle the wear-and-tear of commercial cleaning. Commercial vacuums are primarily used in office buildings, restaurants, hotels, and other commercial businesses. They have thicker, heavier wiring, three pronged grounded plugs, and can be used many hours each day. Most commercial vacuums have longer cords that can allow the vacuum to reach larger areas without constantly having to move the plug from one outlet to another. Just because they are designed for commercial use, does not mean that they have any more suction power than regular household vacuum cleaners.

Handheld Vacuums

These vacuums are extremely useful in the right environment. They are smaller, lighter, and effective at picking up small messes. Handheld vacuums are great for the kitchen, automobile, workbench, or any place where you might have small, reoccurring messes. Some models have short power cords, while others are cordless. You can also get handheld vacuums for wet and dry spills. If you have any small kids at home, this is the way to go.

Floor Cleaners

Floor cleaners have become extremely popular in the last few years. These machines were designed for people who don't enjoy, or have little time, to mop their bare floors. They dispense water and cleaning solution onto your floor, scrub the floor clean, and then suction the dirty water back into the machine leaving the floor clean and dry. Floor cleaners work best on very smooth, even flooring.

Robotic Vacuums

Robotic vacuum cleaners offer the convenience of not having to vacuum at all. Just set one on the floor, push the start button, and let the robot do the rest. What some manufacturers don't want you to know is that the machines sold by mass merchants do not actually 'vacuum' at all, it only 'sweeps'. Most of these machines do not have a 'suction motor'. They have a revolving brush that 'sweeps' surface dirt from your carpet or bare floors into a small cup that has to be emptied later on. I am referring to the name brands and models that are $300 or less. The name brands and models that actually have a 'suction motor' are the models that cost over $1000.

Steam Vacuums and Carpet Extractors

Tired of hiring someone to clean your carpet every six months? These machines offer a cost effective way of doing it yourself. They range in price from $120 up to $300 or more. Some models offer a rinsing feature to help rinse some of the shampoo from the carpet. Other models can do some types of smooth flooring as well. The best advice I can give you about steam vacuums is to be wary of how much water and solution you are putting into the carpet. If you over-saturate your carpet, drying time will increase. Be sure to run clean hot water through the machine when you are finished. This will keep the solution lines inside the machine from being clogged with soap residue.

Wet/ Dry Vacuums

Wet/Dry vacuums are large canister type vacuums that are useful in a garage, or workshop environment. You can use them to pick up large amounts of liquid spills, as well as other types of construction debris. These machines are extremely useful for construction clean up. Things like sawdust and sheetrock dust are no problem for these vacuums. Wet/ Dry vacuums can pick up debris that would ruin your regular household vacuum. They can also be helpful if you need to remove a couple of feet of water from your basement. They come in several different sizes, or gallon capacities. A lot of people keep Wet/ Dry vacuums in their garages for cleaning out their automobiles.

Backpack Vacuums

Backpack vacuum cleaners are basically canister type vacuums that mount onto the users back with a type of harness. These are useful in places where other types of vacuums won't fit. Primarily used in the restaurant industry because they can be maneuvered under tables and chairs to vacuum the floor, without physically moving all of the tables and chairs out of the way. These vacuums help restaurants save a lot of money in man-hours. If you don't have to move all of the furniture around to vacuum, then vacuuming takes less time. Most backpack vacuums have a slightly larger 1-½ inch diameter hose to resist clogging from larger debris. These machines can be used in almost any commercial, or residential environment. Backpack vacuums come with a universal, straight-suction floor tool for carpet and bare floors. Some brands offer an optional carpet nozzle with a revolving brush for use with wall-to-wall carpeting.

Water Filtration Vacuums

Water filtration vacuum cleaners allow you to use water to trap the dirt. The water takes the place of the disposable paper bag, or bagless dump cup. Some manufacturers claim that water traps 100% of dust and dirt and can take the place of disposable bags and filters. This is not entirely true. Scientific research has shown that some dust and dirt particles cannot saturate water. These particles bounce around on top of the water until they are exhausted through cracks and crevices in the machine, or settle onto the motor itself. Cleaning and changing the water pan can become a problem all it's own. Where do you dump the dirty water? If the water pan has large debris, it will clog your sink or toilet. If you dump it in the backyard, you will have unsightly dirt mounds everywhere. If you don't clean the water pan as recommended, you can grow mold and mildew in the vacuum cleaner and cause any metal parts in the vacuum to start rusting, or corroding.

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