A vacuum cleaner is a must-have home appliance. But which one to buy? Bagless, barrel, upright, stick, or something else? Lasoo investigates…
Every day, dirt and dust travels into your home. Suction is what your vac uses to suck it all up, and the air that the vacuum takes in (as it sucks up debris) has to be got rid of. That’s where your vacs filtering system comes in - it’s responsible for delivering clean air back into your house, rather than redistributing the dirt and dust once again!
So, in a nutshell, even though design looks, model colour, bag or no-bag, weight, noise, mobility and compact storage are all important criteria to base your vac-buying decision on, really, these two things - suction and filtration - should be what you’re most concerned about.
Suction Size of the motor is usually crucial for maximum suction, but also look for variable suction/power to reduce it for delicate jobs like vacuuming curtains. As well, check out the air flow capacity of the machine - the most powerful vacuums have up to 4.8 cubic metres (170 cubic feet) per minute air flow capacity. Suction power is more important for a carpeted house as dirt acts like sandpaper on the fibres, accelerating wear. Dust mites also love to hide in the depths of deep carpet pile.
Filtration Some cheap vacs don’t have filters. If you really care about the quality of your indoor air, then buy a vac with a HEPA filter (international standard, means High Efficiency Particulate Air) which traps very fine particles (like pollen and dust mite feces). These are known to trigger allergies and asthma. Vac must have a fully-sealed air system for the HEPA filter to work at its max, and the HEPA filter changed annually.
Additionally, these 7 vac features are also important:
1. Dust collection Disposable dust collectors are easier to use than a reusable bag which has to be shaken to release the dirt. But they’re an on-going cost (and expensive). Bagless vacs have a bin that has to be emptied which is messy.
2. Noise level If you vacuum regularly, then its noise (or lack of) will make a difference to your life. Plug in and listen in-store before you buy! The amount of insulation in the unit impacts on the noise. Cheaper vac equals little insulation.
3. Weight Carrying up/down stairs, using vac for car cleaning means a light-weight model is important. Some vacs are very, very heavy - if you’re a small adult, aged, infirm or you want the kids to vacuum, then check its weight before you buy. Stick vacs are a great light-weight option.
4. Mobility Wheels must have a 360 degree swivel and you need a long power cord, preferably retractable. An 8 metre operating radius is excellent, anything less and you’ll be changing power points.
5. Accessories Crevice nozzle for sofas, upholstery brush for curtains, skirtings and sofas, a dusting brush for furniture. Check essential tools are supplied or purchased as extras. Pet grooming accessories are becoming popular and can make a great difference to your home’s hygiene.
6. Features Controls on the wand eliminate some bending, adjustable head height is necessary if you have carpets with different pile heights, or for moving from timber to ceramic tiled floors. Blower function is good for airbeds. Extendable wand is important for dusting ornate ceilings - check it extends far enough.
7. Compact storage On-board storage for accessories, wand storage that keeps it attached to the vac, plus retractable not wind-up cord. Uprights don’t have a retractable cord - look for easy wind-wind hooks on the body. Check the vac’s stored footprint to make sure it fits where you intend to store it.
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