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Cleaning Tips | 2019 | Vacuum Cleaner Primer

Understanding how vacuum cleaners work helps you keep a clean home and is a major step to choosing the right vacuum and how to maintain it.  In this blog I will give you the run down of what you should care about with vacuum “specs”, how to maintain vacuums, and what not to do with them.

Vacuum Tech 101

Vacuums work by creating negative pressure (vacuum) in the head or attachment you are using to clean.  This creates a partial vacuum and triggers higher pressure air from around the head/attachment to rush in carrying dust/dirt with it.

The flow of higher pressure air into the lower pressure vacuum head/attachment creates friction as the air molecules flow inward which helps carry dirt/dust.

Vacuum Specs & Features To Look For

When choosing vacuums you should strongly consider finding out the following info before buying:

  • Is there a beater bar that helps assist the vacuum by brushing the carpet and helping loosen and sweep up debris?
  • Look for the widest hose vacuums with, preferably a direct “pipe” from the vacuum motor to the floor such as Dyson or Kirby uses typically. These by design always have the highest CFM (read on for more on this) and are far less likely to clog
  • Check CFM stats on the vacuum. CFM or cubic feet per minute helps measure the how much negative pressure the vacuum creates and therefore how fast dirt/dust rushes into the vacuum head/attachment. 100 or more is strongly preferred.  Cheaper vacuums are about half that and just don’t work as well.
  • Don’t pay as much attention to “lift” which is only a way of measuring the vacuum’s force when completely obstructed. Lift is far less important than CFM and is unlikely to be too low if the vacuum has powerful enough motors to give you high CFM anyway.

Vacuum Features To Look For

  • Attachments – Pet hair, hard floor, and the usual nozzles
  • More and more pet hair “beater bars” on the head of the vacuum are nice and actually do work pretty well to help with excessive pet hair when cleaning carpet

Do's & Don'ts

  • Don’t ever run over damp or wet carpet/debris/etc as it will eventually cause your vacuum motor bearings to fail. Water will change the balance of the bearings and result in failure of the motor after running over wet stuff as late as one to two weeks later!
  • Don’t run the vacuum full or clogged as it will overheat the vacuum motors
  • Make sure the vacuum is unclogged by the sound and exhaust force you can feel with your hand. Don’t bother putting your hand under a nozzle and see if it still “sucks” because that is nothing more than the vacuums “lift” which still works when clogged.  Even if it will suck your hand because you full obstructed the vacuum it will no longer do much for sucking up debris/dirt when it’s not full obstructed.

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