8 Tips for Buying the Right Vacuum Cleaner

How do you choose a vacuum cleaner?

How do you choose a vacuum cleaner?

Recently I had to replace my pricey, dead vacuum cleaner. I had purchased it off the internet less than 10 years ago, so naturally I had a few questions about how to choose my next one.

I went to the Kritz Vacuum & Allergy Relief store in Highland Park, and talked to vacuum expert, Steve Kritz.

I learned that even though I had purchased a reputable brand, I had failed to notice that the particular model I chose was made in China, not Germany like the brand’s other models.

I asked Steve a few more questions, and these are the tips I got:

  1. More expensive models will typically hold the fine dirt and dust particles better because of a more sophisticated filtration system.
  2. Pricier models will almost always offer more tools to clean things other than the floor (i.e. window shutters, drapes, stairs…)
  3. While a less expensive vacuum my pick up a similar amount of dirt as a more expensive unit, over time their performance drops off.
  4. As a rule a more expensive vacuum will carry a longer factory warranty, which typically indicates better build quality.
  5. Just because a vacuum is expensive does not mean you will love it. Always take a look at how the vacuum is constructed, and how easy it is to access clogs and keep the filters clean. If clogs form or airways become partially blocked, or if filters are not kept clean, the vacuum motor does not get enough air. This causes the motor to overheat. Over time will dramatically reduce the life expectancy of the motor.
  6. As a rule of thumb, once a customer spends $400 or more on a vacuum cleaner, they have bought a “life-time vacuum”. In other words machines purchased for $400 or more should last at least 15 years and, with proper maintenance and care, that time can be extended significantly. Occasionally, even a lower priced unit can last a long time- all depends on maintenance and care.
  7. People with allergies to pollen, mold , pet dander or dust mites should buy a vacuum cleaner with superior filtration. The same goes for people with other health issues such as COPD, emphysema, or a depressed immune system.
  8. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter that works by forcing air through a fine mesh. The mesh traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. HEPA has become a very generic term that many equate to superior filtration. All HEPA filters are NOT created equally. As a matter of fact, a HEPA filter only filters out 10% of all air particles. The other 90% is what settles in our lungs and causes additional problems. The way a HEPA filter is constructed, the way a machine is constructed that uses HEPA and the placement of the HEPA filter in the machine all greatly impact its filtration ability.

So, I did purchase a new vacuum cleaner that day, and I’m hoping it will last 15 years or more, like Steve said.  What about you?

What’s your philosophy on buying vacuum cleaners?

Is it better to go with the less expensive unit and replace it occasionally, or do you prefer to buy the more expensive unit in the hopes it will last 15+ years?

Thanks to  Steve Kritz  of Kritz Vacuum & Allergy Relief, Chicago, Highland park & Orland Park for sharing his knowledge!


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