1. Buying a vacuum at a store that does not repair or service vacuums.
Can you get your new vacuum serviced where you purchased it? When you purchase a vacuum that fits your needs and problems arise, most of the time it is an easy fix. However, if you have to send it to Atlanta, it’s a major problem. When you buy a vacuum, you should ask the sales people, “How long will it take to get my vacuum serviced? Is 24 hour service available? How long will it take to get my vacuum back? Can I get a loaner vacuum if I need one?” A good vacuum should be designed to last many years with proper maintenance. Your vacuum purchase should be the beginning of a long relationship with your retailer, not the end of one.
2. Buying a vacuum without trying it out first.
Would you buy a car without a test drive? When buying a vacuum, test it on your type of carpet right in the store. Too many times we go to a big store thinking they have good selection and prices. Have you ever found anyone at one of these stores that has any knowledge about vacuum cleaners? Most of the time a store that specializes in vacuums will have a better selection and staff that can actually help you! Bring the person who is doing the vacuuming with you when choosing your new vacuum. Selection of a canister or an upright has a lot to do with circumstances and personal preference.
3. Buying a vacuum that doesn’t pick-up pet and human hair.
Pet and human hair is one of the most common reasons why vacuums fail. Hair can get into bearings causing it to overheat and melt plastic parts of your vacuum. If you don’t get the right vacuum, you could be replacing it year after year. There are many vacuums to choose from that are designed to help with this problem. Some vacuums even have a metal brush roll which works great for people with long hair.
4. Buying a Bagless vacuum.
Do you really want to breathe the dirt you just cleaned up? Like HEPA filtration, many people don’t understand bagless vacuums. Thirty years ago, we had bagless vacuums. They were so messy that they invented the paper bag so you could efficiently throw out your dirt. Most people don’t know that in order to work efficiently, you must replace the filters every three months to a year, and they cost as much as $150.00. High filtration vacuum bags cost about $2 to $4 each and you replace them every 1 to 2 months. That could save you $120 a year! Any good vacuum store will be able to get you any vacuum bag for a fraction of the price of a bagless vacuum’s HEPA filters. Bagless vacuums are dirty, heavy and expensive!
5. Buying a “disposable” vacuum:
How long do you want your new machine to last? Ask your store about the repair record of the vacuum you are considering. If they don’t know, that should register as a red flag. If you haven’t purchased a vacuum in ten years, you probably want your new vacuum to last 10 years or more. Unfortunately, the top manufacturers aren’t making the same vacuums they made 10 years ago. Look at the warranty. If it is one year, you might not expect it to last ten. To ensure long life, vacuum manufacturers recommend that you service your vacuum once a year.
6. Buying a vacuum that doesn’t fit your needs.
Buying the highest amperage won’t give you better cleaning. There are only 3 things that assist in cleaning: suction, air flow and brush roll action (not amps or watts). Make sure you are buying the right vacuum for your home. Different types of carpet and hard floors are cleaned differently. Some vacuums can scratch your hard floors or damage your carpets. Just because your friend has a certain vacuum, or a vacuum looks nice and shiny, doesn’t mean it is the right one for you. Most bells and whistles don’t clean—they break. Make sure that the vacuum you are looking at will perform as you expect it to before you take it home.
Some common mistakes when choosing a vacuum:
Too Heavy: If you have to carry a vacuum upstairs, weight may become a consideration. It can also become precarious to balance a vacuum while cleaning the carpet on the stairs. There are vacuums specifically designed to be used on stairs. Sometimes it makes sense to have one vacuum upstairs and one downstairs. There are full size vacuums on the market that weigh as little as 8 pounds. Keep in mind that it should be a major concern not a minor one. Generally, lighter weight vacuums make compromises for being lightweight. We offer some terrific lightweight vacuums but ask your vacuum professional if these trade-offs affect your situation.
Too Dusty: This is the area where most people make a major mistake in purchasing a vacuum. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is a standard that hospitals use for air quality. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a vacuum has a HEPA filter in it that the vacuum has been tested for HEPA filtration. Very few of them have been tested. Just because the packaging says HEPA, does not ensure that HEPA standards have been met. But beyond dust, did you ever wonder how many dust mites are in your house? A high filtration vacuum will help lower the dust mites and other contaminates that your family breathes every day.
Have Area Rugs: You need professional advice if you have area rugs. Getting the highest suction isn’t necessarily the best choice. The type of rug will determine how aggressive your brush roll has to be. Too high suction or brush roll action can ruin your rugs. Too low will not clean. Either way, the wrong vacuum will shorten the life of your carpet. If you have fringe, ask us how to correctly vacuum it.
Above Floor Cleaning (Attachments): Do you want to be able to pick up that little dust bunny while you are vacuuming? Purchasing a machine that has tools that easily detach will make your cleaning job easier. Keep in mind that tools onboard will add weight to your vacuum. To properly clean a home you should start from the top down. First, turn on your air purifier. Next, do all of your above floor cleaning and dusting with your attachments. Finally, do the floors. Do you want your new vacuum to do your dusting?
Too Noisy: Do you want your vacuum to be as noisy as a jack hammer or a rock concert? If you have a pet or person in the house that is highly sensitive to noise, make sure you try out your new vacuum before you buy it so that you can hear how loud it is. Some vacuums are extremely quiet. Your next vacuum doesn’t have to be loud to be powerful. Small children are sensitive to noise and crawl on the ground. It must be clean! They also have a tendency to leave small objects around. Some vacuums are designed to handle those problems without damaging your vacuum.
Vacuums have a dirty job to do! They are also the most replaced appliance in your home. Again, because vacuums are used so often to pick up dirt, all manufacturers recommend service once a year. Before buying a new type of vacuum, ask your store what you have to do if you need service or if there is a problem with your new vacuum. If they say you have to take it somewhere else to be repaired or serviced, you might want to buy it from the original source in the first place.