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10 Things You Should Know When Shopping For a Vacuum

  1.  Just because a vacuum is more expensive, doesn't mean that it is better. If you are shopping for a new vacuum at a major retailer, there is no reason to spend a lot of money. Those products are focused on strong advertising campaigns and sales gimmicks. The difference in value between a $40 machine and a $400 machine is minimal. Don't be fooled. Although, if you are shopping at an independent dealer and spend $400, it is likely that you will have that machine for a very long time.
  2. Bells and Whistles Break. All those extras that manufacturers use as selling points are done so with little concern to quality and durability. I'm talking about static charging dusters, dirt sensors, rotating hepa filters, belt clutches, hydraulic height adjustment, and germ killing light rays. Imagine that; the cute little gadgets that got you to purchase the thing to begin with, will break and make the machine worthless. Buy one that just vacuums. It will last longer.
  3. Bagless doesn't mean Better. Vacuum cleaners were originally bagless. The bag was added as an improvement, and later taken back off to promote the bagless vacuum. I know many people find it very inconvenient to change bags, but the machines do clean better, and last longer.
  4. Cheap straight suction canisters hold up. Straight suction means that there is no power nozzle or electrified hose. In my experience, these inexpensive vacuums tend to hold up really well across the board. Of course, they don't fit everyone's needs.
  5. Never buy a cheap electrified canister.  There are many electrified canisters on the market that just don't hold up at all. For the amount of money that they cost, do your research, and purchase a good brand from a reputable company. I recommend Miele, or Bosch.
  6. Bags are cheaper than filters. There are a lot of machines out there that have $60+ in filters on it that need to be changed on a regular basis, so do the maintenance math, before you purchase. And for the machines that say they have a permanent hepa filter, 'does that even make sense?'
  7. Pay attention to where the filter(s) is located. Never buy a bagless vacuum with a hepa filter located inside the dirt container. Obviously a hepa filter goes on the exhaust of the machine as the final stage of filtration. Some companies ignore the obvious and place them in the worst place possible; in the dirt container, where they will get dirt exponentially faster. This practice is done to sell more filters. Also, the primary(first) filter should be a foam washable filter. I shouldn't have to tell anyone, but washable paper filters are a bad idea, but they are out there.
  8. Know who you are really buying from. Electrolux is made buy Eureka now. Hoover, Royal, and Dirt Devil are all owned by the same company. Kenmore is often a privately labeled Panasonic. These are just a few examples. If you were unhappy with on company don't be fooled into buying from the same.
  9. Flat belts stretch out. Maybe people don't realize how quickly. A brand new vacuum will typically need a new belt right away, because it has been stretched into place since the machine was put together. And after that, the belt will need to be changed once every three to six months. On the other hand, geared and serpentine belts will last the life of the machine
  10. Consider the Source. When researching for vacuums take everything you read, negative or positive, for what it is worth. A customer that didn't change their belts and filters is not going to have a good review on an otherwise decent vacuum. A neighbor that has only owned there vacuum for few months has no idea if the machine will hold up or not in the long run. A report that rates a Panasonic below a Kenmore obviously wasn't paying much attention when it is the same machine.
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