Posted on November 24th, 2020
The health of your indoor air relies heavily on your vacuum cleaner: Regular vacuuming significantly reduces odors in the home, along with controlling dust, mold spores, bacteria, and dander. For allergy and asthma sufferers, vacuuming is an essential part of symptom management: In some cases, vacuuming and other cleaning strategies to remove allergens can reduce the need for medication.
Vacuuming is also a great way to extend the life of your carpets, particularly in high-traffic areas. Dirt we track into the house often contains sharp particles (like tiny specs of sand and glass) that cut into the fibers of carpets whenever we walk on them. Over time, the fibers get weaker, which makes the carpet look flat, dingy, and worn. Vacuuming high-traffic areas at least a few times a week can therefore extend the life of your carpets by five years or more as if you have bad cleaning habits, the condition of your carpets deteriorates over time.
Unfortunately, many people don’t reap the full rewards of vacuuming, either because they aren’t vacuuming properly or because they’ve chosen the wrong type of vacuum cleaner. Some vacuum cleaners are better optimized for certain surfaces and tasks than others, so knowing how to choose the best vacuum cleaner for your home will save you time, money, and frustration. (Alternately, if you don’t have time to vacuum your home properly, you can contact our team of Indianapolis maids to take care of this task for you.)
Understanding the 5 Types of Vacuum Cleaner
Upright vacuums have long been a favorite in American households thanks to their ability to quickly and effectively clean large areas. Uprights are ideally suited to demanding jobs, including removing pet hair from the home, because their powerful suction can pull hair, dander, and dirt from deep carpets. Many uprights also offer a brush roll feature that can be disabled to clean hard floors, making them suitable for efficient whole-house cleaning.
Still, the fact that uprights are the most powerful type of vacuum doesn’t make them right for everyone. Upright vacuum cleaners are usually heavy and require a lot of storage space, so they aren’t a good choice for people with mobility issues or those living in small apartments. These vacuums can also be difficult to carry upstairs (even if you’re physically fit), so you may want to pair your upright with a lighter vacuum (like a stick or handheld) if you live in a two-story home. Generally, uprights are only recommended for people who live in houses that are fully or partially carpeted.
Canister vacuums are the default choice for homeowners who don’t have carpets. Though canister vacuums aren’t quite as powerful as uprights, they’re fully capable of removing pet hair and other allergens from hard surfaces. They’re also much easier to maneuver on tile or hardwood floors, and light enough to be carried upstairs.
Another bonus of canister vacuums is their incredible versatility: These vacuum cleaners can be fitted with a wide array of attachments to clean upholstery, curtains, staircases, and hard-to-reach places throughout the home. The only real downside of canister vacuums is how cumbersome they are to store: With their long hose and bulky canister, these vacuums don’t tend to fit in small closets. As such, they aren’t always a practical choice for apartment dwellers.
For those who are short on space, ultra-portable stick vacuum cleaners provide an affordable, practical option. However, it’s important to be aware that the convenience of stick vacuums comes with a hefty price in terms of suction: Stick vacuums tend to be the least powerful type of vacuum on the market, so they aren’t recommended for pet owners, people with large homes, or any area with carpet. If you try to replace a conventional vacuum with a stick vacuum in the aforementioned situations, you’ll end up covering the same area multiple times trying to achieve a satisfactory result. If you live in a bachelor apartment with hard floors, on the other hand, a stick will probably get the job done.
Handheld vacuums, like stick vacuums, are only capable of surface cleaning. Handheld vacuums are generally recommended for people whose main vacuum is an upright model, because handhelds can go places an upright can’t. For example, you can use a handheld to vacuum furniture, windowsills and curtains, stairs, and the interior of your car. In effect, a handheld performs the same tasks as a canister vacuum’s multiple attachments. Handhelds are also incredibly useful for quickly picking up dry spills.
Robot vacuums were once thought of as a quirky cleaning novelty, but research shows they’re increasingly becoming the norm: According to iRobot CEO Colin Angle, robot vacuums now account for 20% of the total market.
People are drawn to robot vacuums by the promise of effort-free cleaning, but it’s important to be aware of their limitations before you make a (costly) purchase: Though robot vacuums are great for light maintenance cleaning – and perfect for people with mobility issues – they can’t match the power of an upright or canister vacuum. Robot vacuum owners should still vacuum with an upright or canister vacuum every couple of weeks to prevent the buildup of dust and allergens. (Those who aren’t able to use a conventional vacuum cleaner should have a professional cleaner complete this step for them.)
When Vacuuming Isn’t Enough: The Importance of Professional Carpet Cleaning
Even if you vacuum frequently with the right model for your space, you should still have your carpets cleaned professionally once or twice a year. Our insured, bonded housecleaners in Indianapolis use hot water extraction (HWE) cleaners to capture the fine, ground-in debris that’s missed by even the most powerful vacuum cleaners. This high-temperature cleaning method also kills dust mites and neutralizes allergens and bacteria, keeping your home fresh-smelling and hygienic. Best of all, HWE cleaners don’t leave behind residual moisture (unlike consumer-grade steam cleaners), so they won’t promote mold growth.