Canister Vacuum Cleaners Feature Guide
Canister vacuums are really the best option for cleaning homes that have a mix of hard and carpeted floors. If you have already had the chance to browse at few canister vacuum cleaner prices online you have probably noticed that prices generally start around $200 and can go over $1,000. Hopefully the difference is quality and not the fact that you need to help a vacuum company offset their marketing cost. We review a few features that may be important to consumers. Most of these features can be found in a Miele or Sebo canister. Bosch and Electrolx make some canisters that share some of these features as well.
Advanced Filtration System - Most of the better canister vacuum cleaners have 3 filters: a vacuum bag, a chamber filter and an exhaust filter. The chamber filter is the filter located inside the vacuum, behind the bag and in front of the motor. A preference would be to use a high quality synthetic cloth bag. These are becoming increasing popular and most of the better brands make them available. You should notice how much cleaner the inside of you vacuum chamber is. That's important because you really want to keep the internal filter free of debris. The internal filter protects the motor and can restrict air flow when clogged. The exhaust filter should be a HEPA Filter. A best case scenario would a canister vacuum that is also sealed from leaking emissions. A sealed vacuum has gaskets inside of it to prevent any leakage of debris and dust before it is passed through the various layers of filtration.
Suction Controls - It can be very convenient to reduce the suction of a vacuum, especially if a household has area rugs. A carpet that isn't fixed to a floor can get sucked up into the roller. A preference would be a canister vacuum that has the suction control near the handle of the hose. Sometimes the suction control is located on the body of the canister, which is still better than not having it at all.
Weight - You will notice that most of the less expensive mid and full sized canisters can weigh 16 to 25 pounds. That can be a lot of weight to pull around while you vacuum. Check out the weight when you are glancing over a vacuums specifications.
Air vs. Electric - A household with a heavy shedding pet or high pile carpet should stick with an electrically powered brush roller. The other option is an air powered brush roller. The rollers is powered by the suction of the vacuum cleaner. An air driven canister vacuum will be less expensive than the equivalent model that is powered by electricity.
Wheels - The type of wheel a canister vacuum features can make a world of difference while manuevering a vacuum around a room during operation. Find a model where the wheels are located under the canister vacuum body this is a preference. It will be easier to navigate around a room that a model that has the wheels on the sided of the canister vacuum body.
Using a canister vacuum should not be inconvenient. If you prefer to shop by brand, that's fine but make sure you are aware of what a specific canister vacuum cleaner offers you in terms of features.
Canister Vacuum Cleaner Care Tips
If you in currently considering purchasing a canister vacuum, you can really get a good return on that investment with proper care. From my experience canisters generally outlast upright vacuums cleaners. Part of the reason for that is that because canisters vacuums will remove debris and dirt from your carpet and it will travel through the vacuum to the bag without coming into contact with the motor area of the vacuum.
Follow the tips below and your new or current canister should last a pretty long time.
1. Change the filters (if applicable). Most of the current vacuum cleaners (upright or canister) have some kind of filter, maybe more than one. If you have a hepa vacuum cleaner or a bagless vacuum, then you will be replacing a at least one filter.
Generally, vacuum cleaner filters should be changed every 6 months. If you vacuum more than once a week, or have pets, I would change them sooner to maintain effectiveness. Some filters can be cleaned and reused, so follow the manufacturers instructions in regards to cleaning reusable filters. Try to follow your vacuum manufacturers guidelines on filter change duration.
In a canister vacuum cleaner, there is usually a filter inside the vacuum chamber behind the bag. This vacuum filter protects the motor. You want to make sure this pre motor filter isn't caked up with debris or you will risk harming the motor. A clogged filter will place unneccessary strain on your motor, and hamper performance. Replace or clean this filter as needed, and make sure you put it back correctly. It is important that debris doesn't come in direct contact with your motor.
2. Pay attention to the brush roller. Most people neglect the brush roller area unless a belt breaks. Most manufacturers recommend that a roller should be changed every couple of years. At the minimum, you should be checking your roller every month. String, carpet fibers and hair will get wrapped around your brush roller. Needless to say, a worn roller or a roller wrapped in string or hair will not clean your carpet effectively.
3. Change your belt. If you have a Eureka, Dirt Devil, or Hoover canister vacuum, you probably should be changing the belt every year. Neglecting the vacuum belt is one of the most common errors we see in the vacuum cleaner shop.
Some vacuum belts stretch over time. From my experience, most people don't change the vacuum belt until it's broken or they smell the burnt rubber when the roller area has been jammed up during vacuuming.
Change the vacuum belt every year. Think about it, you probably spent hundreds of dollars for your canister vacuum and replacing a belt for a few dollars can be the difference between your vacuum cleaner power nozzle performing well or poorly.
Note: Some canister vacuums, like the older Electrolux models or Miele canisters, have a geared or "long life" belt. Some belts do last for years. If you have a canister vacuum that claims to have a "lifetime belt", these belts will really do last for years. Check with your vacuum manufacturer to find out what kind of vacuuum belt you have.
4. Don't jerk on the the hose or the power cord. I know that pulling a canister vacuum cleaner around by it's handle requires a lot more bending, but it will prevent you from damaging you vacuum cleaner hose. Most canister vacuum cleaners have electric hoses. If you jerk on an electric vacuum hose the electrical connection can be compromised. You can gently pull the vacuum around by the hose, but from my experience when a vacuum gets "stuck" some people will jerk on the hose and create a problem. Vacuum hoses can be replaced, but they are not always cheap.
5. Don't overfill the bags. One of the easiest ways to render a canister or any vacuum useless is is to overfill the vacuum cleaner bag. You can potentially reduce the suction of the vacuum and strain the suction motor. I recommend changing a vacuum bags after it has reached just over half of it's capacity. You can fill it up to about 3/4 of the way, but changing the bag sooner will allow the vacuum to work at capacity. Don't depend 100 % on indicator lights. You should physically open expose the vacuum chamber and check the vacuum bag.