Vacuum Cleaners

What you need to know about Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum Cleaners use suction to remove dust, dirt, hair and other domestic debris from floors & surfaces. There are two main types of Vacuum Cleaner; Upright Vacuum Cleaners (which you might know better as Hoovers, due to the Hoover brand's historical dominance), and Canister Vacuum Cleaners. Your other choices include Handheld Vacuum Cleaners, for cleaning elevated surfaces or small messes (like crumbs after a breakfast in bed), & Back Pack Vacuum Cleaners, which can come in handy for professional cleaners with large areas to cover.

The integrated design of an Upright Vacuum Cleaner means that it's easy to control. There's no need to pull a separate cylinder component after yourself while vacuuming, & no flexible hose to be strained, tangled or damaged. The weight of the Vacuum Cleaner rests firmly on the ground, while the handle is at hip height, meaning that it can be moved around without stooping. Upright Vacuum Cleaners also deal more effectively with thick carpets or rugs, & are better at gathering pet hair - dog & cat owners take note. A rotating brush-roll in the head of most Upright Vacuum Cleaners dislodges hair & other debris, allowing for easy suction.

Canister Vacuum Cleaners, also known as Cylinder Vacuum Cleaners, are the cheaper option. A flexible hose connects the head to a separate wheeled unit in which the motor & dust collector are housed. Advantages included a greater level of flexibility; you can usually purchase a variety of Heads & Attachments to connect to the hose. Moreover, not having to lift the motor with you means that stairs & other elevated surfaces are significantly easier to clean (though using a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner for this will always be the easiest option), and reaching under furniture poses less of a problem. Canister Vacuum Cleaners also tend to be quieter, though this varies between models - generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the higher the volume.

There are a few other factors to consider when choosing the right Vacuum Cleaner. For instance, you will want to decide between Bagged & Bagless models. Bagged Vacuum Cleaners store dust & dirt in disposable Dustbags which are easy to remove & easy to get rid of. Bagless models, on the other hand, deposit their intake in a detachable plastic canister, saving you the cost of purchasing new bags. Cleaning them out can be a little messy though, particularly if they are overstuffed. If you've got quite a large area to clean, you're going to want a model with a longer cable length (or you could buy an extension Cable Reel separately). You'll also want a larger dustbag/canister when cleaning a bigger space. Remember that higher wattage doesn't always translate into more suction; high end Vacuum Cleaners tend to be more power efficient.

If you find constantly switching between power sockets as you move around your house or workplace to be an unnecessary hassle, a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner may well be for you. Issues with runtime can be overcome by providing yourself with a good supply of long lasting batteries. High amp-hour batteries will last longer, much like having a larger fuel tank, whereas high voltage batteries will provide you with more power, equivalent to a larger engine.

Maintaining your Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum Cleaners require little maintenance. Brush Rolls on Upright Vacuum Cleaners do tend to need cleaning after a while, to remove entangled hairs & other debris. They can be removed & cleaned by hand or with a pair of scissors. Vacuum Cleaner Filters also require cleaning, & may need replacement after extended use. For Filters, Dustbags & Attachments, sorted by brand, check out our Vacuum Cleaner Bags & Accessories section.

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