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Happy November, everyone! We’re only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, so you know what that means – time to clean the house from top to bottom before the guests arrive. And you better start now rather than later, especially before that extra hour feeling wears off.

With fall in full swing and winter approaching, you may notice your floors may need a little TLC.

You’ll never regret having a good vacuum around. Sucking up all that dirt and grime not only keeps your home spotless and clean, but also clears away harmful allergens built-up in your floors. But with so many brands, options, filter-types, and other factors, choosing the right vacuum can be a daunting task. To make the decision easier, we’ve narrowed down some of the most important factors to keep in mind while picking out a vacuum.

Think about your job. Do you have hardwood or shag? Leather and wood furniture or cozy, upholstered pieces that may need the occasional vacuuming? If you’ve got a lot of surfaces that need attention like thick carpets and textured furniture, you need a more heavy duty vacuum with a lot of power. Consider an upright model with a motorized beater-bar (the brush roller) and features that allow you to adjust depending on the height of your carpet. If you have hardwood, make sure your choice will clean without damaging your floor. Often a good quality stick vacuum will pick dirt off hard surfaces without leaving a scratch.

Have a small space? A good quality stick vacuum takes up less room in apartments, lofts or a small home.

Double up. Having a smaller vacuum around the house will keep you from having to pull out your huge vacuum every time. A stick vacuum or handheld vacuum is perfect for those quick jobs.

Get attached. If you have lots of dusty knick-knacks, furniture to clean around, or thick curtains, look for a vacuum that comes with attachments that will allow you to handle specific jobs. Canister vacuums are often great for these jobs as they are easy to maneuver and can fit in tight corners, but still clean just about as well as an upright.

To HEPA filter, or not to HEPA filter. High Efficiency Particulate Air filters in vacuums are known to remove more allergens and particles than a standard vacuum alone. However, pay close attention – a true HEPA filter has been tested to ensure they will filter with 99.7 percent efficiency and will come with a seal to prove it; other HEPA filters only capture 85 – 90 percent of particles. Also remember that water filtration systems are not a replacement for HEPA filters.

For a HEPA filter to be useful in a vacuum, it must be completely sealed or you risk dust seeping out and back into the air and floor. It is also best to choose a HEPA filter vacuum that has the filtration system after the motor to make sure the exhaust is actually emitting allergen-free air.

Keep in mind that HEPA filters will need to be replaced at least once a year. Cleaning with a dirty filter will definitely do more harm than good.

About going bagless. Bagless vacuums can be convenient and sometimes be the money-saving option. Be careful though – emptying them can be a huge chore (especially if you have animals, as pet hair often gets stuck in the canister) and for allergy-sufferers, can release all that dirt and dust right back into the air. On top of that, if your filter isn’t washable, you’ll have to replace it at least once a year. A high-end bagged vacuum with a HEPA filter will often do better than its bagless counterpart, but you’ll have to pay a lot of money up front, but might be worth it – especially if you have asthma or allergies.

Verdict: A good, bagged upright vacuum with attachments and a good filter (in both the vacuum itself and the bags) will usually never let you down. For convenience without having to constantly change attachments, a canister vacuum will do the trick. Small spaces and rooms without a lot of carpet can be kept clean with a stick vacuum. For hardwood or tile flooring, look for vacuums that have a manual pile-height adjustment setting or a bare floor switch.

Remember that no matter what kind you choose, upkeep is critical – not changing your filter or overfilling a vacuum bag beyond its recommended capacity cuts your cleaning power, making your job harder.

What kind of vacuum do you have in your home? Will you be getting a new vacuum this holiday season? For more homekeeping tips, visit these links and tell us what you do to prepare your home for the holidays in the comments below:
Easy, Cheap and Green Cleaning Tips for Floors
Caring for Floors
Sabrina Soto’s Cleaning Secrets

22 Responses

  1. St Albans says:

    very impressive and informative blog you share with us because now a days almost everyone has a busy life schedule and has no spare time to clean or wash his home and everything manually. This kind of vacuum gives us comfort and easy way to use. It is quite cheaper and beneficial for us and we can take its advantages easily. I will surely share this blog with my other family friends.

  2. pinky says:

    its very helpful,

  3. Ziplock bags came into play in the last 25 years. These bags helped, especially the freezer bags, because they had zipper seals. However, they still didn't do the trick quite well enough to help preserve food. So to combat this, vacuum technology was employed with the invention of home vacuum sealers. This technology had been available to institutions for quite a while, but with much smaller scale versions for the home kitchen, cooks and shoppers were able to take advantage of the technology. How it works, is that the cook places meats, or whatever they want to preserve in a plastic pouch. The ends of the pouch are attached to vacuum sealers. Vacuum sealers will suck out about 98 percent of the air volume in the package. The purpose of sucking out the air, is that with no air, the food is totally protected from the elements.

    This saves a home cook time in food preparation, because home vacuum sealers can not only preserve meats, they can make pre-assembled dishes that are portioned, and ready to go. All they have to do is thaw out the vacuum sealed meal, and then cook it. The meal will be as fresh as the day it was sealed. With vacuum sealers, this saves a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy for the cook.

  4. albert343 says:

    Very informative blog. I have been using the Panasonic Vacuum Cleaner MG-UG323. I'm fully satisfied with it. Its so easy to use. But recently it just makes some sound when we start it. Do any of you have any suggestions. The link to my Vacuum Cleaner is here – https://www.the-vacmaster.ca/panasonic/panasonic-…. Pease check and let me know. Thanks

  5. I want one of those Dyson vacuums.

  6. Catherine904 says:

    This seems like a decent vacuum cleaner. Does it work fine on hardwood floors?

  7. mrvankid says:

    thanks for the guide. I'm going to buy the best hardwood floor vacuum today

  8. Kevin says:

    Dyson comes in 2 flavors… cheaper and more expensive. I bought the $500 more expensive version 9 years ago. Still works like a champ. I usually take it completely apart (as much as you can with do it yourself tools) and clean it once a year. I have to clean the bristle roller every couple of months.

Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a editor for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on Chopped. Like...


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