Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner – Pitfalls to Avoid

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Need help choosing a vacuum cleaner? A vacuum cleaner is one of the most important things every home needs. The neatness of every home depends on the value of the vacuum cleaner in that home.

Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners do not pay the usual attention in the selection process of the best vacuum cleaner to buy, and they usually end up regretting or spending more on another model or brand.

Being on this page means you are considering buying one for the first time or you are thinking of replacing your old one. However, don’t make the mistake of just buying any, unless you educate yourself about what makes a quality vacuum cleaner, how to maintain it, and safety tips.

To that effect, we have brought to you a few important tips to help you decide on the best vacuum cleaner for your home.

Without further ado, let us look at the criteria for choosing a vacuum cleaner.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner

What Is My Floor Type?

The type of floor in your home will largely determine the type of vacuum cleaner you can go for. There are basically three types of floor, hard or tiled floor, carpeted floor, and the combination of the two.

Knowing the exact floor in your home will direct your attention straight to the type of cleaner to buy. Rather than wasting time guessing on which model and brand to go for.

What Are the Types of Vacuum Cleaners?

Basically, there are 7 types of vacuum cleaners available on the market today. You need to know each model when choosing a vacuum cleaner and its function, which we have below. They are as follows:

  1. Canister vacuum
  2. Upright vacuum
  3. Deep cleaner or carpet cleaner
  4. Handheld vacuum
  5. Sweeper or stick vacuum
  6. Pet vacuum
  7. Robot vacuum

Each design of the vacuum cleaner listed above has its function and performance. Therefore, pay attention as we discuss each in detail below. These choices greatly impact choosing a vacuum cleaner.

Canister Vacuum

This type of vacuum cleaner is highly maneuverable, flexible, and versatile. It poses these qualities due to the presence of a suction hose and retractable cord.  It works best on hard surfaces and small carpeted areas like a car or stairs.

Upright Vacuum

If you have a large area house with a hard floor then an upright vacuum is the best option. Some design comes with a bag while some don’t. That is why we have bagless, and bag vacuum cleaners on the market today.

The presence of a mechanically driven beater brush designed to removes dirt through suction makes this vacuum great for carpet cleaning. The adjustable height feature allows easy transition from a dense carpet cleaning to hard floor cleaning. It is a very versatile vacuum cleaner.

Deep Cleaner or Carpet Cleaner

As the name implies, this cleaner is specifically designed to remove hard stains, spots, and dirt on a carpet using warm water. The cleaner sprays the carpet with soapy water, then use the built-in mechanism to brush and suck up the water, dirt, and stain from the carpet.

You don’t use this model of the vacuum cleaner on hard surfaces and it is not for everyday use.

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Handheld vacuum cleaners are lightweight, portable, and ease of use in areas that upright vacuum cleaners cannot reach easily.  It is perfect for immediate cleaning of areas messed up by children or pets.

Most handhelds are battery-powered and cordless, which makes them easy to carry for cleaning up small spills or dirt. It works great on both hard surfaces and carpet.

Sweeper or Stick Vacuum

It is a dual-functional type of cleaner. In other words, it delivers in all an upright vacuum can do, also delivers on what a handheld vacuum cleaner can do. As a battery-powered vacuum cleaner, it is portable and easy to use.

A sweeper or sticky vacuum works well both on hard floors and carpets. It comes with a dirt cup for collecting dirt and debris when in use. This vacuum is equally used in the kitchen and bathroom.

Pet Vacuum

If your goal is to make sure that pet hair and urine odor is completely removed from your home, then this type of vacuum cleaner is what to go for. The major feature of this cleaner is that the brush can easily be detached for cleaning when clogged with a large amount of pet hair.

This vacuum is equally used in cleaning upholstery, and in every area, pets can relax at home.

Robot Vacuum

This is the most advanced vacuum cleaners available today. Robot vacuums are hand-free, which means you only need to set the boundary sensor to cover your desired area.  And other settings that allow washing and tidying the home automatically.

They are purely cordless, portable, and above all, great time saver. Robot vacuum cleaners are not as durable as conventional vacuum but they last to a reasonable extent depending on usage. They make an excellent option when choosing a vacuum cleaner.

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Features of a vacuum play a vital role in choosing a vacuum cleaner. You should always weigh the capacity of the vacuum cleaner in relation to the area you will use it on. Below are the features of a vacuum cleaner to consider.

Size and Number of Motors

The first thing to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner is the size of the motors. The power of the motor of a vacuum cleaner is measured in watts. The higher the value, the higher the operating power of the vacuum cleaner. The power of industrial vacuum cleaners should be within the range of 1000W – 4000W. While the power rating of a vacuum cleaner for domestic use should range between 250 -480W.

Also, some vacuum cleaners have two different motors; one for the vacuum while the other controls brush.

This feature makes this type of vacuum cleaner very durable and perfect for large area cleaning. The shortcoming of such a cleaning machine is that maintenance takes time.

The Capacity of the Bag and Fill Location

The frequency of changing a vacuum bag depends on how fast it gets filled. Therefore, you should consider bags of high capacity in order to save on the cost of maintenance.

There are 3 basic measurements of vacuum bags, which are as follow:

The small size is 40cm x 60cm, medium is 60cm x 80cm and large size is 70cm x 120cm

Fill location matters a lot because it has either a positive or negative effect on the motor. If the bag is filled with dirt and debris from the bottom is has a negative effect on the motor, while the top fill remains the best both on the motor and the user.

Air Flow

The vacuum cleaner works on the principle of airflow, which is measured in CFM, cubic feet, or centimeters per minute. A considerable value to look out for in a vacuum should not be less than 125 CFM.  Always consider going for a vacuum cleaner with a high value of airflow per minute.

Water Lift (Suction)

This is a great feature to watch out for because it determines the level of dirt or debris a vacuum cleaner can lift per inch. Also, the value indicates how successfully a vacuum cleaner can overcome resistance.

You have to consider this especially in HEPA or high filtration vacuum cleaners that have more resistance going by their designs. A strong water lift starts at 80”, so do not go for a vacuum cleaner with a common suction of less than 80”


Another important criterion when choosing a vacuum cleaner is the noise level. Of what importance is a vacuum cleaner if the noise is unbearable to the user. Therefore, you should consider buying a vacuum cleaner with moderate noise output.

The vacuum cleaner noise output is measured in decibels (dB). Our normal home conversation output is rated 50 dB. Therefore, any vacuum cleaner with noise output within the range of 70 -80 dB is considered moderate.

How to Maintain a Vacuum Cleaner

Now that we know a bit about choosing a vacuum cleaner, we need to look at maintenance. To a large extent, the durability and effectiveness of a vacuum cleaner depending on your maintenance culture. There are basic parts on a cleaner that you must ensure are well tightened and cleaned after every use.

There are 7 established tips for maintaining a vacuum cleaner, and we are here to educate you on that. The tips are as follows:

  1. Always ensure the roller is free from dirt and dust
  2. Clean and replace the filter regularly
  3. Always check and clean the vacuum brush
  4. Ensure that the vacuum hose is never blocked
  5. Always inspect the belt
  6. Ensure that the vent Covers are always clean
  7. Empty the dirtbags consistently
  8. Seek the attention of professionals in case of a major repair

Let’s take a deep look into each maintenance tip listed above.

Always Ensure the Roller is Free from Dirt and Dust

Allowing dirt and dust on the roller mired them to the extent that they cannot function again. Therefore, you are strongly advised to keep it free from dirt and dust more especially if you have a pet. This is because pets’ hair easily entangles on the brush thereby affecting its cleaning ability.

Clean and Replace the Filter Regularly

A clogged filter on a cleaning machine renders the machine useless. To be candid, this is a must-do in order to achieve maximum cleaning performance from a vacuum cleaner. Always use the manufacturer’s manual to identify the position of the filter in the cleaning machine before detaching for cleaning.

Regularly Check and Clean the Vacuum Brush

A dirty brush or a brush that bits or pieces stuck on will never work well. So, you should always check and carefully remove all the bits and stuck on the brush. You should do this immediately after use.

Always inspect the vacuum hose

If the vacuum hose is left unattended, it may clog or even get blocked. To avoid this situation, always gently remove the hose and straightens it till you can see the other end from your point of sight. This action greatly improves the performance of the vacuum sweeper.

Ensure the Belt Intact

The belt is the reason a vacuum brush propels in the right position. Sometimes they get weak as a result of tears and wears. So, always check it and replace it when there is a need for it.

Ensure that the vent Covers are always clean

This is one of the most neglected parts of a vacuum cleaner but very essential to the overall performance of the vacuum cleaner.  If you fail to clear the vent cover regularly, debris and dirt will block the airflow. And that will lead to overheating, thereby generating unbearable noise.

Empty the dirtbags consistently

The bag in the vacuum cleaner is for collecting dirt and debris during clean-up. To ensure the bag lasts long, empty it once you are done cleaning, and replace it when it is due. This is only applicable to those using bag vacuum cleaners.

Seek the attention of professionals in case of a major repair

Practicing the maintenance culture listed above will ensure the durability of a vacuum cleaner. In case your machine develops a major fault, then engage the services of a professional.

It is only a professional can detect the fault and fix it with the right parts. And that will put the machine back in the right working condition.

Safety Tips to Observe Before, During, and After Using A Vacuum Cleaner

Choosing a vacuum cleaner is just part of the battle. There are safety measures you must observe from the day you buy a vacuum cleaner. Remember, safety is first in life, so it is a compulsory task you must observe during the course of your home cleaning.

The 3 safety measures are as follows:

  1. Read and study the user manual
  2. Keep away from the reach of children
  3. Always disconnect from the power source before checking

Let’s consider these measures in details in this section:

Read and Study the User Manual

The user manual is a complete written version of the vacuum cleaner you buy. To understand the operational principles, safety measures, maintenance requirements,s and many more, you need not only read the manual. You must study every bit of it for a better understanding of how to use the vacuum cleaner.

Keep Away from the Reach of Children

As a rule of thumb, you must keep all electrically operated machines out of the reach of children. If your children must have access to it, then it must be strictly under your supervision.

Always Disconnect from Power Source before Checking

Electric shock is no respecter of anybody. In some cases, it leads to death. Therefore, before maintaining your vacuum cleaner, make sure it is completely out of power.

When it is plugged into electricity, ensure you place your hand on the handle, anything short of that is taking an obvious risk.

If you have any questions about choosing a vacuum cleaner, see our resources below.

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