Quick Buyer’s Guide: Canister Vacuums
Like a good oven and mattress, vacuum cleaners are a household must. There are now many kinds of vacuum cleaners available; from the upright vacuum cleaner to the robotic one. Here, you will be guided on buying a canister vacuum cleaner, claimed to be more user-friendly than upright vacuum cleaners.
What is a Canister Vacuum?
Canister vacuums are electric appliances that have a wheeled body with a hose, wand and the nozzle attached to them. The user is concerned at manipulating the wand and the nozzle while the wheeled body just follows course. The canister houses the motor and bag therefore it’s easier and more convenient to use. Upright vacuum cleaners have been a staple for years but more and more users are shifting to canister vacuums because it offers a wider range of cleaning and a more powerful motor. An upright vacuum cleaner is better used in cleaning large rooms and wide stretches of carpets where the user can just easily push it. Canister vacuums are more maneuverable allowing an easier reach under beds, sofas, tables and into difficult room and stair corners.
Canister vacuums are a tad more expensive than upright vacuums but they are lighter and less noisy. They are also available in bagged and in bagless variants. Different kinds of nozzles can be attached to a canister vacuum. There is even a nozzle which simulates upright vacuums’ motorized brushes, possibly replacing upright vacuum altogether.
Guidelines on buying a canister vacuum cleaner
What your House Needs
Assuming that you have erased robotic and handheld vacuum cleaners out of the picture, begin by assessing what your home needs. If you’re concerned about cleaning carpets and floors without getting into corners and underneath furnitures then an upright vacuum cleaner is good. Canister vacuums however offer practicality. With the proper motorized nozzle, it can clean carpets like upright vacuum cleaners whereas upright vacuum cleaners cannot be adjusted to perform like canister vacuums.
Bags versus Bagless Canister Vacuums
When it comes to cleaning corners, staircases and maneuvering around and under furnitures, then a canister vacuum cleaner is a better choice. As aforementioned, canister vacuums are available in bagless or bagged units. Bagless units are more lightweight but there is a small percentage of dust and particulates that are released back into the air so units with bags are better for people with asthma or dust allergies. Bagless technology uses centrifugal force and filters to separate dust and air. For bagged vacuums, the bag requires periodical replacement and for bagless units, replacements of the filter. When buying bagless canister vacuums, check if it’s fitted with washable filters. That would prolong the life of filters and save you the cost of HEPA filters, which can be expensive. Some canister vacuums like the LG Kompressor compresses collected dust and dirt, so it can accommodate more dust inside. Because of its design, canister vacuums are easier to carry up and down the stairs. Most units are fitted with a retractable electrical cord.
Make sure the canister vacuum comes with adequately big wheels. Small wheels can get stuck in carpets and have a hard time adapting to the change in floor height. Also check how loud a canister vacuums gets. This can come helpful if you live in a flat. It is often indicated by decibels (dB). Just for reference, a chainsaw is 100 dB loud and a face-to-face conversation is about 60 dB.
HEPA filter stands for high-efficiency air filter which has its origin way back in the forties. Canister vacuums with HEPA filters can sort out particulates up to 0.3 microns small. These include dust, dust mites, smoke, pollens, molds and even viruses and airborne bacteria. Using HEPA filters remove 99.9% of air particulates, making the room safe for asthmatics. HEPA filters have a rating for their efficiency that is always indicated on the vacuum. From lowest to highest efficiency it si rated as E10, E11, E12, H13, H14, U15, U16 and U17. HEPA filters are available in bagged and bagless canister vacuums. However HEPA filters need to be replaced periodically and more often if the room accumulates more dust than usual (i.e. garage and woodwork studios).
Cons of Canister Vacuums
The immediate disadvantage of canister vacuums is its separate canister and nozzle. Some people find it difficult to always have to drag and carry the canister behind them after covering some area. Storage can also be a problem. Upright vacuums can be easily placed behind doors or in a bedroom corner if you’re feeling lazy but the canister in canister vacuums can be too bulky to blend into the room. Assembly can also be confusing. You have to attach the cord to the canister and the nozzle to the cord. Because there are many nozzles available, there’s a need to switch them when transitioning from cleaning a carpet to hard floor.
Purchasing a good canister vacuum is an investment. It should be backed by good customer support. Make sure it comes with a warranty and a manual. The retail store should accept returns and exchanges in case the device is badly defective. If the hardware store allows it, ask if you could test the canister vacuum first. Some canisters may be heavy for some and some nozzles are easier to manipulate than some. You wouldn’t want to wait for days and weeks just for it to be fixed. When buying online, check the sellers and websites reputation. When paying online, the URL should change from “http” to “https.”
Canister Vacuum Ratings and Reviews
In this modern age of information, people voluntarily share their reviews and experiences with their canister vacuum for free. Sites like Ebay and Amazon have a 1-5 star ratings for every item. There are even short video demos on Youtube and websites dedicated to reviewing a wide range of vacuum cleaners, from handheld to robotic units. If you have a particular canister vacuum in mind, take time to research about it online and you might stumble upon unexpected things.