‘Tis the season for spring cleanin’! The trouble is your vacuum cleaner didn’t survive the cold, dark winter and you just now remembered that. You know you need to buy a new one but the selection out there is bigger than your allergy-based headache.
It’s easy to find a home cleaning service but it’s easier and more affordable to run to Target and just grab a new Dirt Devil. But when it comes to new vacuum cleaners, the devil really is in the details you don’t consider. I’m a fan of great deals. I like cheap sunglasses and take advantage of sales at grocery stores.
But let’s face it: your floor sometimes gets taken for granted and gets walked on, literally. You need a good machine to do a great job when it comes to vacuuming your carpets.
Luckily for you, there is a lot of research out there that can ease the pain of your purchase decision. Let’s take a closer look:
Watch Where You Walk
The first thing to consider when buying a new vacuum cleaner is what kind of floors and rugs you’ll need it to clean. These machines all do the same thing – suck up dirt and debris. They don’t all do it with the same amount of power or efficiency, however.
You wouldn’t bring chilidogs to a vegan dinner party (well, my grandmother would but that’s another story). You wouldn’t wear dress shoes to go hiking and you wouldn’t buy a SMART CAR as the main vehicle for a family of five.
Following that logic, you wouldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner designed for bare floors when the majority of your home is covered in shag carpet. Conversely, you don’t need to spend $600 on a high-end Oreck machine if most of your house has tiled floors or low-pile carpets.
Shop intelligently and not in a panic. You’ll be happier in the end with your choice. For those of you with deeper or shag carpets, the machines out there with manually adjustable cleaning heads tend to work best.
Vacuum cleaners are designed for a massive variety of shapes and sizes of homes. You really don’t need a Dyson Big Ball if you live in a studio apartment or small condo. For those types of homes, you could do well with a cordless machine, provided the battery quality is high and you have mostly bare floors. A voltage rating of 18-20 is fine and you’ll want the battery to last 10-15 minutes for sure.
But even in smaller homes with carpet, it’s simply best to get a vacuum cleaner that plugs in. And for larger homes, plug-in machines are a must. Read reviews like this one from The Telegraph to get more insight and always, always read actual customer reviews when possible. The Wirecutter has some good insight as well, based on the size of your home and its cleaning needs.
Again – do the work up front so you have less work to do in the long run.
Substance Matters, Too
Pet owners, this might be mainly for you. Vacuum cleaners come either with bags or without. It is proven that the machines with bags are better for allergy prevention and containing pet hair and dander. Cleaners that are bagless have containers that fill up quickly. They have filters in them, but those filters get clogged and need to be cleaned/replaced. The more hair you have to pick up, the harder it will be on your filters. Also, make sure (if you’re a pet owner) to buy a machine that sports a brush roller. You can read more about the top vacuum cleaners to get a clearer vision of which vacuum best suits you.
Price for Quality
I was once someone who owned a $40-ish dollar Dirt Devil machine. I will never that person again. Even the smallest apartments need machines that can suction up dirt and debris effectively. It’s strongly suggested by experts you spend at least $150 on your machine to essentially get your money’s worth.
It’s unfortunate that some of the low-end machine choices out there are designed to simply drive up the market for the higher-end cleaners. All corporate manipulation aside, your floors are dirty and you need the best vacuum cleaner you can afford.
Here is a list of some purchasing tips:
– Bagged machines tend to last longer than bagless cleaners
– More expensive machines tend to include effective air filtration systems that help reduce odor and allergies
– $400-$500 is the generally-suggested price range for buying a great machine that will last for years-to-come
– Cordless vacuum cleaners can be effective if you get a higher-end product with power and long battery life
– On the high end of the vacuum cleaner options, you will absolutely get what you pay for over the long term. If you can’t afford a $400-$500 machine, bet the highest dollar machine you can grab that suits your home’s needs.
Vacuum cleaners break down, even the top-dollar ones. Lots of parts move at once to make the cleaner do what it does. Belts snap, screws come loose and filters/hoses clog.
Many vacuum cleaner issues can be fixed by you and/or your spouse at home. It’s not always a snap, but it can be done. And many problems are not as big as they might seem. Sure, it’s frustrating when you start to vacuum and you get a puff of dust in your face and a bad odor in the room. But maybe your filter is just clogged or there is a dog toy in the hose. Maybe a belt is loose.
Honestly, I remember from when I was a kid how many times my dad had to change the belt on that big, clunky vacuum cleaner we used. Then again, with proper maintenance I also remember it working for years and years. When we finally did replace it, I wasn’t allowed to touch the newly crowned machine because it was really expensive for its time and my mother didn’t want a hyper-energetic pre-teen banging it about.
Clean your filters regularly. Make sure your containers are emptied and your bags replaced as needed. Take your hoses off and clean them with vinegar, hot water, soap and lemon.
If worse comes to worst, there are still vacuum repair shops out there – you can likely get it fixed for less than the price of a new machine.