You might not give much thought to your vacuum cleaner, but you probably should. Vacuuming is an essential part of carpet maintenance and the quality of your vacuum is extremely important. This does not mean that you need to run out and purchase the most expensive vacuum on the market. There are plenty of good vacuums on the market that will not break the bank and you can find them if you know what you are looking for.
Vacuum power is a very important factor to consider, but it is one that is also very easy to misrepresent. Manufacturers usually display only the power of the motor, for example 10 amp or 12 amp. The higher amperage vacuum does not necessarily have the most vacuum power. If the 10 amp motor powered vacuum cleaner has a more efficient design, it might actually produce more vacuum. In general, you want the higher amp motor, but there are more things to consider. CFM would be a much better measurement of vacuum power but most manufacturers do not advertise it. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and it is the measurement of how much air is being moved. The higher the CFM, the better.
Agitation is another important factor to consider. It is agitation that separates the carpet fibers to allow removal of soil. It is also agitation that breaks soil loose from the fiber. For the best in agitation, you want a vacuum with both a beater bar and a brush. A beater bar is a raised bump that will separate the fibers. On the opposite side of the beater bar should be a row of bristles.
This is another good factor to consider because the air needs to be filtered properly to keep from polluting your indoor air. Look for a HEPA filter which will filter out well over 99 percent of the pollutants in the air. Luckily, most vacuum cleaners now come with HEPA filters. Only a few vacuums these days, mainly commercial models, come without HEPA filters.
Consider the attachments that you need. Wand extensions are nice for getting edges and into crevices. Some vacuums also come with upholstery cleaning brushes, either manual or powered. These are useful for vacuuming your upholstery, especially if you have pets that shed.
Bagged or bagless, that is the question. If you go with a bagged vacuum cleaner, you will have to constantly keep bags on hand. You should also never let them get more than half full. After they reach the halfway point, they start hindering airflow. If you go bagless, you will have to empty a dust cup every time you vacuum. This can be a messy task.
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