If you don’t want to pay for a bunch of marketing and a lot of “features” that don’t really help you clean your floors any better, you should buy it from a place that also fixes them. Nobody understands what makes a vacuum work like the people who actually have to repair and maintain them. That’s what we do here at the Vacuum Store in Los Gatos.
We’ve been fixing and selling vacuums for over decades and we’ve worked on just about every single make and model made in that time. We know our vacuums and we have some vacuum buying advice for you.
You need the right vacuum for the surfaces that you’re cleaning
There is no one size fits all when it comes to vacuums. What you’re vacuuming and how often you vacuum it matters when selecting a vacuum cleaner. Each vacuum has a range of applications that its best suited for performing. Most vacuums are made to work best on medium to low-cut pile carpet. Vacuums that can be fitted with different kinds of tools are the most versatile.
Suction alone does not clean carpet
You do not need a vacuum with more horsepower than a muscle car to get your carpet and floors clean. The bulk of the cleaning is accomplished by the brush roll which agitates the debris loose, and then the suction/air flow of the vacuum transports the debris to the collection chamber. Carpet requires a precise combination of brushing & agitation with airflow appropriate for the pile/nap of your carpeted surfaces. For more discussion on this, read our article on suction and vacuum cleaners.
Delicate Surface Should be Cleaned with Suction Only Tools
Fine hand made pieces, silks, cottons, wools or hook rugs that could be damaged by brushing or agitation at high speed or with stiff bristles should only be cleaned with a tool that only provides suction to avoid damaging the material. With the most delicate carpets and rugs you may only want to hand clean them because even a suction only tool may be too much for them.
All Vacuum Cleaners Require Maintenance
The promise of a maintenance free vacuum is purely marketing spin. All vacuum cleaners should be serviced once a year to keep them functioning at their best. A poorly maintained vacuum may not only be cleaning less effectively, it could also be kicking out airborne particles into the air that you’re breathing through leaky seals, gaskets, and filters. A properly maintained vacuum doesn’t just last longer. It cleans better.
No really, you need to get your vacuum serviced
Too many vacuum operators do not realize that the belt on many inexpensive vacuums stretch with use and over time. When it does, the brush roll agitation is hampered and the unit cannot deep clean. Your vacuum works on dirty surfaces and dirt gets trapped in the filters, motors, foam mutes, all the moving parts, seals, and gaskets. The end result is the free flow of air is disrupted and clouds of particles are ejected into the air whenever you vacuum. A well maintained vacuum with a fresh brush roll, a new belt, and new filters will usually operate like it were new.
Don’t buy a bagless vacuum
Our experience is that vacuums that do not use disposable bags lose their dust management capabilities faster than vacuums that do use disposable bags. Bagless vacuums are less sanitary and require more frequent disposal of collected dirt and also require more frequent filter replacement or maintenance. Any money you save on buying vacuum bags you’ll quickly spend on replacing filters ahead of schedule and on service.
If you have allergies, the wrong vacuum will make them worse
All vacuums tend to produce airborne dust. The better vacuums do a better job of keeping the dust in, and the best vacuums do that well for a longer period of time than do the economy priced and department store versions. For more discussion on this topic, see our article about HEPA filters.
The right vacuum cleaner for you will help your carpets last longer
A well maintained and properly matched vacuum cleaner for your cleaning needs will not only result in cleaner carpets and floors for you, it’ll also help you make your carpets last longer. Dirt and shampoo residue trapped in your carpet pile accelerate the wear and tear on your carpet.