Canister Vacuum Cleaners: Who Needs Them?

Sure enough, we've all had experiences cleaning the family home with a standard upright vacuum, but what about those canister vacuum cleaners? I (not being much of a domestic enthusiast) had never even heard ofcanister vacuum cleaners until I arrived in college and witnessed a fellow dorm mate pushing one around.  My first thought was, "Have the Japanese finally brought Rosie Jetson to life?" Sadly, the answer was no.

Although I wasn't quite right, and much disappointed, about the Jetson's household robot, I'm sure that a significant number of people still don't know much about what canister vacuum cleaners are made to do and who, among us, should own one. Thus, in an effort to better human kind, I put together this brief, yet concise, overview of canister vacuum cleaners. Interested in learning more before you make that big purchase? Keep reading to discover the difference between upright vacuum cleaners and canister vacuum cleaners, plus more! Canister Vacuums

What Is It? Anatomy of Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Although they may look complicated, canister vacuum cleaners are actually relatively simple machines that operate with six essential components: an intake port, exhaust port, electric motor, a fan, porous bag, and housing to keep it all together.

Electricity operates the motor, the motor moves the fan, which then forces air pressure behind the fan to drop below the outside air pressure creating a little effect called - suction! The porous bag, or filter, captures irritants and prevents them from reentering your squeaky clean home!

Canister vacuum cleaners in general have a short, compact body that is cylindrical in shape, extra-long hoses, and large gliding wheels for mobility. Although some canister vacuum cleaners will have a motorized brush nozzle (a major feature for upright vacuums) most models rely solely on suction to get the job done. Now that we've taken a look inside and out, let's find out a where canister vacuum cleaners came from.

Canister Vacuum Cleaners: A History

Vacuum cleaners, at a glance, were invented in 1860 by a man from Iowa, Daniel Hess, who patented his design  as a carpet sweeper (which had already been around). The difference between Hess' vacuum cleaner and a carpet sweeper was not the rotating brush, which both of them had, but suction power generated by an elaborate bellows mechanism.   

From there on you can read of a long list of achievements and advancements, but what you might not realized is that the canister vacuum cleaner has been around a lot longer than you think. In fact, you can say the design element of canister vacuum cleaners have been around from the very beginning.Canister Vacuum 2

Just search " Regina pneumatic vacuum cleaner" on the internet and you will find an old advertisement from 1910 by the Regina company. The black and white advert shows a lucky woman happily manually hand-generating suction to a canister vacuum cleaner! Come to think of it, she doesn't look so lucky after all. How much labor and time were actually saved with these early canister vacuum cleaners would probably yield sad findings.

After 1940 two distinctive types of vacuums emerged: canister vacuum cleaners and broomstick. Since then canister vacuum cleaners, or cylinder models, have dominated European markets. They are a lot less popular in the United States which is probably why I hadn't seen one until college. Today you can purchase a wide variety of canister vacuums from Eureka, Dirt Devil, Electrolux, and many other companies with just as many high-tech features!

That Thing You Do as Canister Vacuum Cleaners

While all vacuums sway to the old tune of eliminating the dirt and dust, canister vacuum cleaners let you boogie in particular to the way they suction particles from upholstery (furniture and drapes), hard floors (like wood or tile), rugs, under furniture and over staircases! Mainly, you only need to push the powerhead and flexible hose, which are lightweight, so you can enjoy easily moving about your home.

Plus, with all that extra freedom you can do the foxtrot while hunting dust bunnies!

Canister Vacuum Cleaners versus the Competition

When it comes to attributes such as filter types, like HEPA or odor-reducing units, accessory tools, or any other novelty feature they vary depending on brand and model, not so much on type.

The main advantage to canister vacuum cleaners, or cylinder vacuum cleaners as they are more commonly known as outside the US, is their flexibility. In fact, canister vacuum cleaners are better at cleaning just about every surface above traditional carpets. Another positive of canister vacuums is that they tend to be much quieter and thus, less of a headache inducer. For those who suffer from migraine headaches, canister vacuum cleaners are a less stressful choice.

Of course, there are cons to every type of machine. Although you enjoy better flexibility in above-floor cleaning, the entire vacuum body can be quite a bit heavier than stick vacuums or traditional uprights. Canister vacuums are also bulkier and, even though the hose and wand add versatility, they are more difficult to store away. Many still use disposable vacuumCanister Filterbags, not dust cups, so there are the occasional replacements to purchase and install. So canister vacuum cleaners aren't so perfect, after all.

My Canister Vacuum Cleaner, My Best Friend

Yes, it's true! My canister vacuum cleaner has become my new best friend. Somewhere between the puppy chewing dried leaves in the house and the boyfriend scattering cookie crumbs across the sofa we bonded, possibly for life. I actually live in a home without any carpeting installed. My house consists of all hardwood floors and the occasional Persian rug or bath mat.

Old Betsy, as I have affectionately named her, has turned out to be a real time saver on the bare floors and rugs, plus the couches. Although I don't have stairs, I can see why simply gliding the wide-nose nozzle over surfaces would be easier than dragging a full machine up each step. Originally purchasing a traditional upright, I soon discovered that it was difficult to capture dust on wood floors, not to mention tiring, pushing and pulling a full machine back and forth!Canister Vacuum 3

Despite my machine's drawbacks - not lightweight, uses a traditional vacuum, and isn't quite as powerful as my old upright - I still find it's the best cleaning friend I've ever had.

Use as Directed: Canister Vacuum Cleaners for Bare Floors!

Although we may often feel compelled to purchase the cheapest, flashiest or most powerful item we are drawn to, that is often a very bad way to purchase. Most likely, you'll end up dissatisfied with a product that doesn't live up to your expectations - because it can't! You have the power (purchasing power, that is) to make smart shopping decisions and choose the item that's best for the job. Consider your cleaning needs first.

Canister vacuum cleaners, we've learned, are specifically made for cleaning bare floors, area rugs, upholstery and stair cases. If you've got a house of high-pile carpet, you'd better look somewhere else for a deep clean. Be smart and choose the right vacuum for the job. Hopefully it's one of the many canister vacuum cleaners available, like Old Betsy, to help you get your home healthy and happy!

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