• Stephen

Why you may want to consider buying a high filtration vacuum cleaner

My first vacuum cleaner purchase was 10 years ago. My girlfriend (now wife) and I just got our first apartment together and I had none of the tools and supplies needed to start a life as an independent adult. As we were just starting out money was in short supply so we took a trip together to Walmart to look at what they had for vacuums. At the time I didn't really know where to buy a vacuum but I did know that I could find about anything I was looking for at Walmart. I can't recall what brand of vacuum we purchased but I do believe it was an upright with a bag and we probably spent less than $100. The vacuum lasted for a few years but we had issues with it along the way, like when the belt was broken for about 6 months and I couldn't understand why I had to vacuum the same spot with 10 passes to pick up the visible debris on the carpet.

Our second vacuum cleaner purchase was a Kenmore upright that we procured at Sears. The vacuum was bagless which was a big appeal at the time and we spent somewhere around $200-$300 on it. At first the vacuum worked great. We just bought a newly renovated house which a lot of newly installed carpet that had little bits of carpet fibers all over it that our old vacuum just couldn't handle. It didn't take long to see that there were unanticipated drawbacks to the vacuum however. It was very heavy for one thing. This made it very difficult to clean a house with multiple floors and vacuuming the stairs was something I would dread. Dumping the vacuum resulted in a significant amount of grey dust pluming up from the trash container and redepositing on the floor around the trash. It also didn't take too long for the vacuum to lose suction and required the vacuum to be disassembled, cleaned and put back together. Luckily we kept the owners manual and with a little frustration were eventually able to put it back together correctly. We still have this vacuum today but it stays in the basement and I use it to vacuum up some cat litter and saw dust here and there.

Recently we purchased two new vacuums that we love and will probably have for life. We bought them both from the Portsmouth Vacuum Company and were very impressed by their knowledge and no pressure approach to sales. We purchased a canister vacuum from Miele with a power head and a upright from Sebo. Both were about $1,000. To someone who was used to buying a vacuum at Walmart or Sears that seems like a lot of money for a vacuum. I first went to check out the vacuums with my wife and didn't return until a few weeks later when I decided to buy the Miele. I was so happy with the vacuum I cleaned everything. The carpets, the hardwood floors, every horizontal surface that had accumulated dust from the forced hot air and every cobweb I could possibly find in the basement. I returned about a month later and purchased the Sebo. The Sebo is truly designed to vacuum carpets where the Miele is a great all around vacuum that can be used to vacuum everything in your house. One of my favorite features of the Sebo is that it automatically adjusts the brush height to the carpet you are vacuuming.

What does all this have to do with why you should consider buying a high filtration vacuum? Pretty much all vacuums you come across will have a HEPA filter in them and the marketers don't hesitate to make this a selling point. This doesn't exactly mean that the vacuum is high filtration. Unless the vacuum is completely sealed and all the air flows through the filters you can't be confident that you are cleaning as effectively as you could be. And what about those bagless vacuums? Where do you think all those fine particles are ending up when you dump the canister into the trash?

There are many reasons why you want to vacuum your carpet with a high filtration vacuum. First off, most soils that are filtered out of the air by your carpets are in the 2 micron range. That means that these soils are 2 millionths of a meter in size. You aren't going to hear that satisfying sound you may be fond of when cleaning large debris of the carpet but make no mistake about it, removing these microscopic particles are very important to maintaining your carpet's appearance. Very fine particles (0.1 microns) have a significant effect on visible soiling. These fine particles stay suspended for hours before finally settling back down into the carpet fibers. If your vacuum is not capturing these particles or you are dispersing them back into the air when you dump your bagless canister in the trash you are not doing your carpets justice. These fine particles over time will damage the surface of the carpet fibers as you walk on them and will ultimately change the appearance of the carpet and will not be able to be reversed with vacuuming or cleaning.

Vacuuming your carpets regularly is the best way to maintain their appearance. There really isn't another way around it. About 70% of the soils in your carpets can be removed with vacuuming. But what about the other 30%? That's where professionals come in to the picture. Professionals are able to treat the carpets so that the soils which have adhered to the carpet fibers are removed from the fibers and suspended in a solution which we then extract with powerful vacuums. Without properly pre-treating the carpets, which trained professionals can do, you cannot remove all the adhered soils. That's the benefit of hiring a professional versus a do it yourself method.

I hope you have learned some valuable information from this post and I am always here to answer questions you may have about purchasing your next vacuum.



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