The Power of Suction

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Which vacuum cleaner works for your home?

Nowadays, the range of vacuum cleaners is so varied that you can most certainly find something that is multi-purpose enough for your needs. Whether you’re the type who needs serious cleaning to be done because of a large household or merely superficial cleaning because of frequent nights out, it should be easy to find a machine that fits your purpose. We take a look at the types of cleaners out there and the general considerations in purchasing one.

Cylinder or canister vacuum cleaner
Ideal for homes with no or few carpet flooring, a canister or cylinder vacuum cleaner cleans most floor surfaces well especially hard-to-reach surfaces like corners and stairways. Using a suction hose to pull up dirt, a cylinder vacuum cleaner comes with a motor and dust collector depending on whether it’s bag or bagless, and are usually on wheels. Nowadays there’s such a wide range of detachable heads like brushes and hoses that you can reach many tight corners, areas like under the sofa or through fan blades, depending on the cleaning task on hand.

Their advantages are their versatility: they can tackle many difficult-to-clean areas with their range of detachable tools like brushes and hoses. They’re also quite light and compact, and thus easy to manoeuvre; ideal for apartments with stairs. Some models also come with lesser noise or have noise levels tied to power, enabling you to tune the noise when your child is sleeping next door for instance. They’re also sufficient to clean most carpeting.

Their disadvantage could be tidy storage as the hose could be unwieldy when stored in small spaces although almost all models come with a clip to attach the hose to the body. In addition, over time, the attachments might tend to slip off from the hose while vacuuming halfway, yielding much inconvenience and frustration.

Upright vacuum cleaner
Upright vacuum cleaners are machines that you push in front of you to pick up dirt. It’s usually equipped with a rotating brush roll that sweeps up the dirt and a motor that provides the suction to pull the dirt up. There’re many different types of upright vacuum cleaners for various cleaning purposes. Upright cleaners are good for cleaning a wide range of synthetic carpeting. And they’re ideal for bigger houses because of their ease in manoeuvring; you’re able to cover a wider area breezily. Their compact size also means they’re easier to store.

The not so good part of these cleaners is their weight especially when you need to clean the floor upstairs. For this, a cylinder vacuum cleaner works better. Also, pushing the machine in front of you when you’re blessed with long legs would mean stooping and bending your back more than necessarily during cleaning, a situation that could worsen your back problems over time. Therefore, it’s good to go for models with height adjustment features.

Before you decide on the type of vacuum cleaner, consider the usage and lifestyle and factors like performance, noise, budget, and more.

Consider the usage. Where would you be using it on? On hard flooring predominantly like vinyl, laminate or tiles or areas covered with mostly carpeting and rugs? Although upright cleaners generally work better on carpeted flooring, there’re many cylinder cleaners that clean most types of carpet as well. And if you’ve stairs, you might like to consider getting a smaller cylinder cleaner for the rooms upstairs while an upright cleaner does the job below.

For bigger households, a bigger capacity machine of course is more ideal as it cleans faster with more suction power; it also has a larger dust bag that requires lesser effort in replacing than a smaller dust bag as it would get filled up easily. And for smaller families or households, a basic machine would do the job nicely.

The power consumption of a vacuum cleaner is measured in watts. The higher the wattage, the more electricity it consumes; it does not relate to the effectiveness of the machine. Whereas the higher the suction power, the more effective and powerful is the cleaner. 

Bag or no bag
With a bag dust collector, users incur more cost naturally as they need to replace the bags after a while. The upside is that it’s more convenient as the dust and dirt are all stored in a sealed package neatly and tidily. For bagless vacuum cleaners, although you need not incur extra cost in getting bags on standby, they could be a little troublesome during emptying; a task that must be carefully carried out to prevent dust from spilling out or getting into the air. For people with allergy, it might be better to get a vacuum cleaner with bag to avoid this from happening.

HEPA filter
People prone to allergies or asthmatic conditions should get a cleaner with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. They work to trap allergens and prevent them from escaping into the air, which might pose breathing problems for allergy sufferers. Most vacuum cleaners are now equipped with this feature.

Wet/ dry features
Vacuum cleaners that have this feature can clean up liquid spills as well. Usable as a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, this dual-function machine might be ideal for families with small children that are prone to accidental spills. Their additional accessories also make it suitable for a wide range of cleaning tasks. 

Some machines can be so loud that you’ve to shout or wave like a clown to get the user’s attention. Noise levels are measured in decibels and generally a lower decibel rating equates to a quieter machine. Noise level has become an important feature when considering a vacuum cleaner. Ideally, the more silent the machine, the better.

Ease of usage
A vacuum cleaner must be easy to manage. On top of being sturdy with their parts attached firmly to each other, (my last vacuum cleaner had its hose detached umpteen times from the machine during cleaning) the vacuum cleaner should not be too heavy for you to manoeuvre around the house and also not compromise your back or body position in any way during usage.

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