Rug Renovating Newsletter - September 2012
So why is vacuum cleaning so important? Well, research shows that up to 83% of the soil in rugs and carpets is loose, dry particulate that can be removed by regular vacuuming. In-plant cleaning of area rugs and handmade carpets and Hot Water Extraction cleaning of installed carpet is the only way to remove water and oil based soil such as food, beverages, animal accidents, oily dirt and other materials. The other VERY IMPORTANT benefit of regular vacuuming is improved indoor air quality (please see my article: Keep Your Home Clean & Healthy) The soft surfaces in your home like carpets, rugs, upholstery and window treatments serve as a trap for all allergens and other particles, reducing their continued circulation and keeping them out of the air you breathe.
Vacuuming with a superior machine that is properly maintained not only cleans your carpet, but also improves the air quality in your home by removing the allergens and other particles, effectively sucking those pollutants out of your carpet, rugs and furniture into the filter and locking them out of the air in your home. Your rugs, carpet and furniture will last longer and look better and your home will be healthier.
What type of vacuum and important features
Upright or canister
There are two types of vacuum cleaners that you would want in your home. One is an upright and the other is a canister. If you have rugs and carpets on your floors then in most cases the upright cleaners will do a better job of cleaning than a canister.
On board cleaning tools are also very important. The upright vacuum you choose should have all the on board tools built in so they are handy and ready to use while you are vacuuming. These tools include a narrow crevice tool, small upholstery brush, round soft brush for dusting, a stretch hose and rigid extension that reaches at least 12 feet.
You want a vacuum that uses a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. It provides the highest level of filtration when it comes to retaining the dirt, dust, allergens and pollutants that the vacuum takes out of your rugs, carpets and furniture and keeps them out of the air you breathe.
Dust bags or bagless
The bagless units capture the dirt and pollutants in a bin. The HEPA filters are inside the unit and need to be manually cleaned or replaced and the replacement filters tend to be more expensive than ordinary bags. When you empty the dustbin or clean a filter it can be messy and expose you to dust and other allergens. To me the choice is simple – when it comes time to empty the dust/dirt filter bag, I want to quickly take the used filter bag out and replace it with a new one and be done with it. I don’t want to pull out HEPA filters to clean or replace them.
The brush agitator, also known as the beater bar, is very important to great vacuuming on thick, full pile rugs and carpets. The agitator rotates and loosens up embedded dry soil allowing it to be sucked up into the vacuum. The vacuum must have an ON/OFF switch that can turn on and off the brush agitator when you are vacuuming hard surfaces and old and thin handmade rugs.
Great for wall-to-wall carpet as it allows you to clean right up to spot where the carpet meets the wall.
Is standard on almost all upright units and it can really help avoid the operator banging the vacuum into the floor molding making it look like a guard rail on a highway into New York City.
Electric power cord
The longer the better. Thirty feet or more is ideal as it reduces the number of times you must stop vacuuming and move the plug.
This feature adds weight and expense to the unit that most operators can live without. It is a transmission drive system that assists the operator to move the vacuum forwards and backwards.
Lets you reduce the amount of suction through the hose, which is important and helpful when cleaning upholstery and window treatments.
Summary of what to look for when buying your vacuum cleaner:
- Purchase an upright vacuum cleaner with the on board tools built in.
- Must have a HEPA filter system that uses a disposable bag.
- Must have an ON/OFF switch to control the brush or beater bar.
- Edge cleaner and headlight are usually built in - you want them.
- Electric power cord at least 25 – 30 feet long.
- Stretch hose and rigid extension that reaches at least 12 feet and has suction control.
- Skip the self-propelled operation.