Because Dirt Exists, Here's How to Choose the Right Vacuum

woman selecting vacuumIf you've recently been in the market for a new vacuum, you know your choices are endless. From uprights and canisters to bagless and HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) types (say what?), your dustbunnies are growing while you're scratching your head trying to figure out which one is right for you. We sought the help of an expert who sorted out how to select the perfect vacuum for your home. (You're welcome!)


Green Cleaning Coach Leslie Reichert shares her tips for picking the right vacuum for your needs.

1. Don't let peer pressure sway you.

To decide which vacuum is best for you, Reichert recommends not listening to the advice of your friends. Seems counter-intuitive but here's why:

"Just because your friend likes it doesn't mean you will," she explains. "We are all different and we all have different homes and different flooring. I know so many people that got a vacuum they hate on the advice of their friends."

No one wants to have to try to return a used vacuum in her free time. No one.

2. Consider your needs and lifestyle.

How do you solve the old upright vs. canister debate? Ask yourself some basic questions to find your answer, Reichert suggests. 

"If you can't stand pulling something around behind you, you should lean towards an upright," she says. "If weight is an issue, look at a canister."

Should hardwood floors or carpeting factor into your decision? You betcha!

"I would only clean my hard floors with a canister," says Reichert. "An upright is for carpeting, even if it has a 'hardwood' setting."

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3. Are allergies an issue?

If you struggle with allergies you'll want to make sure your vacuum has a good filter in it, Reichert says.

"Don't get tricked with words like 'HEPA-type' or HEPA-like," the cleaning expert says. "Those are filters that aren't quite HEPA, which is the highest quality filtration."

If you or someone in your home has an issue, seek out the real thing!

4. Don't pinch pennies on this purchase.

It may kill you to splurge on a cleaning tool of all things, but Reichert advises buying the best you can afford. 

"But don't get sucked into an extremely expensive vacuum just because the salesperson says it's the top of the line," Reichert notes.

Do a little research on your own. Consumer reports and online reviews can help you make your decision.

5. Consider the warranty and potential for repairs.

Here's a secret we never knew!

"A rule of thumb is that your vacuum will last twice as long as your warranty," Reichert shares. "If it's six months, you'll get about a year without big problems. If it's a seven-year warranty, you'll have a great working vacuum for 14 years or more."

The cleaning guru also suggests finding out how easily your vacuum can be repaired. If yours is one that just can't be fixed, it's best to know that ahead of time!


Image via Sergey Ryzhov/shutterstock

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