Vacuuming Myths DispelledVacuum Guide Main Page >>
Many vacuum manufacturers use similar (but different-sounding) claims to market their various products, but as a consumer, you should be aware that many of these claims are merely marketing tactics. When purchasing a vacuum cleaner, it is important to be well-informed of the products you are considering. As such, here are a few dispelled myths commonly used by vacuum manufacturers to promote their products:
MYTH: All vacuums are created equal and use the same basic design.
FACT: Although vacuums do remove dirt and dust from carpets and rugs, they can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks. Vacuums primarily operate by using an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust from floors, but the way the dirt is collected can vary from one vacuum to the next. In bagged vacuums, dust is collected in 3-ply bags with cotton liners, while bagless vacuums use filtered cyclonic technology to remove dust and debris from carpets and rugs. In addition, vacuums can vary in design, with weight and other factors affecting ease of use. Upright vacuums are sturdy and great for carpets, but canister vacuums are usually lighter and easier to maneuver.
MYTH: A vacuum's motor power means performance.
FACT: Motor power is usually measured in amps and determines the amount of current used by a vacuum's motor. This measurement is important, but higher amps do not necessarily mean greater cleaning power. Rather, to find a quality vacuum cleaner, pay attention to a vacuum's airflow, how it handles, and whether it incorporates filtration.
MYTH: Suction plays a large role in determining a vacuum's ability to clean.
FACT: A vacuum's suction power demonstrates the actual "pulling" of its motor, and it is the only way airflow can continue under obstructed conditions. Nonetheless, very strong suction power is usually only needed when a vacuum cleaner is used on thick, plush carpeting, and is not the only factor to be considered when purchasing a vacuum. Also keep in mind a vacuum's airflow, lift, filtration abilities, and design.
MYTH: Bagless vacuums will save you money and require less maintenance than bagged vacuums.
FACT: While it is true that you will save money on bags when using a bagless vacuum, bagless vacuums all utilize filters to capture smaller, hard-to-capture particulates, and these filters will need to be replaced on a regular basis to ensure optimum performance. Therefore, over time, you should expect to spend the same amount of money on filters as you would bags in the average life of the vacuum. Bagless vacuums also require the same amount of maintenance as their bagged counterparts, and in addition to emptying the dirt cup, you will still have to periodically wash the cup and perhaps even unclog it from time to time.
MYTH: HEPA filtration is an absolute necessity.
FACT: The term HEPA refers to a type of filter that has the ability to remove 99.97% of particulates as small as 0.3 microns, and unless you are an allergy sufferer, a HEPA vacuum may not even be necessary. Also, some independent tests have also shown that even some high-end HEPA vacuums can still exhaust dust because of the impact of a beater brush against carpet. Instead, the most important information to have is how much airflow and lift are occurring at the beater brush and floor interface. This is actually a better indicator of whether particles are being pulled into a vacuum or exhausted back into the air.
MYTH: Vacuum belts are all identical.
FACT: Inexpensive vacuum belts wear out, slip, and stretch, whereas high-quality vacuum belts can last for several years, as they are geared/sprocketed much like an automobile timing belt. Also, geared/sprocketed belts do not slip and ensure more consistent particle pickup and removal.
MYTH: Upright vacuums are strictly for carpets; canister vacuums are for bare floors.
FACT: The past few years have seen some major design changes in terms of vacuums. While there used to be a clear distinction between upright and canister vacuums, vacuum manufacturers are now designing vacuums to be more multipurpose. As such, modern canister vacuums with turbo brushes or powerhead brushes can be very effective at cleaning low-pile carpeting or area rugs.
MYTH: Robotic vacuums can help you eliminate vacuuming altogether.
FACT: Although robotic vacuums are extremely convenient, they cannot replace canister and upright vacuum cleaners because they do not have the suction capability and performance of traditional floor cleaners. Instead, these are meant to perform either daily or weekly touch ups to keep your home tidier in between vacuum sessions. Although you will still have to vacuum your floors regularly, robotic vacuums can help you cut down on your housework.
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