Canister vacuum cleaners offer a fun and practical way of cleaning the house. Though designed to operate in a similar fashion as upright vacuum cleaners, they differ in their physical design. Canister vacuum cleaners have a detached suction head that is connected to the motor body via a hose. This makes them lighter and easier to work with than normal vacuum cleaners. However, when it comes to performance they are not as powerful as upright vacuum cleaners, but they clean stairways and corners far much better. So, what are the factors to consider when purchasing the right canister vacuum cleaner?

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Look for Higher Engine Power for Better Performance

Unlike normal vacuum cleaners where the suction head is directly connected to the motor, the canister has a hose. This means that there is a significant amount of distance involved from the suction head to the motor. You, therefore, need an efficient canister that will get the job done once, without having to repeat a spot several times before it becomes clean. A good indicator of a powerful canister vacuum cleaner is the engine power, which is measured in Watts (W).

Engine power in most canisters ranges between 1200 W and 2000 W. A higher power, therefore, means that the canister is more efficient. Sometimes the engine power may not be the best determining factor, especially if you are dealing with “green vacuum cleaners”. These are designed to consume less power and still offer high performance.

It is due to this reason that you have to consider the depression and flow rate of the machine. Unfortunately, these two are rarely provided by the manufacturer. Depression refers to the ability of the canister to create a vacuum and is measured in kPa. It is important to have a higher depression rate, especially if you have thick carpets to vacuum. A higher flow rate is also important if you want to clean hard floors.

Is It Bagged or Bagless?

Canister vacuum cleaners are categorized as either bagged or bagless. Bagged canisters have a bag that is used to collect dust and debris. They have been in existence for far much longer than bagless canisters and are generally more durable. They tend to be more silent and have a higher level of filtration (especially cloth bags). The bags also hold more dust and release less dust during disposal. It may be a good choice for you if you suffer from respiratory complications like asthma. The only problem is that they require regular replacement of the bags.

Bagless canisters do not have bags. Instead, they have dust compartments or bins. The compartments are usually transparent, which makes it easier to tell when they are full. Also, the bins are used multiple times, before they wear. However, the filters have to be replaced frequently and are more expensive than dust bags. Their only problem is that they are a bit noisy and cost more than the bagged canisters at the same level of performance.

Canister Vacuums

Whichever canister you select, make sure it has the adequate size of the dustbin or bag. The minimum capacity is 2.5 quarts, which is quite small if you have a large cleaning area. A small size bag/bin means that you will be emptying and replacing it too often, which is tiring and expensive. In addition, choose a canister vacuum cleaner with an indicator that shows when the bag/bin is full to avoid unnecessary inconveniences.

Should It Have a HEPA Filter?

Generally, many vacuum cleaners come with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. A HEPA filter is more effective when it comes to purifying air than normal filters. It removes at least 99.97% of all harmful allergens, such as molds, dust, and smoke. HEPA filters are more expensive than other filters, but they guarantee better air quality. It should be noted however that there are non-HEPA filters that are equally effective as the HEPA filters.

Kindly note that when selecting the right filter, ensure that it has a higher level of filtration to prevent the leaking of particles back into the air. If you can afford a canister vacuum with multiple filtration levels, the better. Canisters with multiple filtration levels have a large surface area to trap allergens and also to accommodate a larger amount of particles. Also, ensure that the filters are removable, washable and can be used severally before they need replacement.

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How Long Should the Power Cord be?

The longer the power cord, the better. This will remove the need to switch to different power plugs while working. The cord should be at least 20 feet long for you to be able to clean larger spaces comfortably. Some manufacturers choose to include the cleaning radius, which may clearly indicate to you if it is sufficient or not. Go for a canister with a retractable cord that automatically wraps itself to remove the need for you to coil it. Equally important is the length of the suction hose. It should also be longer to allow you to cover much ground without moving the canister.

Which Accessories Should I Look Out For?

Most canisters come with different accessories for various functionalities. Common accessories include a dusting brush for the corners, an upholstery brush for curtains and furniture, a crevice nozzle for hard-to-reach places, a hard floor brush for parquet floors and a motorized brush for the carpets. If you have a pet, it should have pet-removal tools to pick up the flurry deposits. The most important thing is that it should have various settings for different cleaning needs.

Is a canister vacuum better than an upright?

Should The Layout of My House Be A Factor When Determining Which Canister Vacuum Cleaner To Buy?

Your house layout and everything in it should dictate the type of canister to buy. The first thing to consider is the layout of the house. If your house has an open floor plan, then a heavy vacuum cleaner is not a problem. However, if maneuverability is an issue or your house has a lot of tight spaces, then consider a lightweight design because there will be a lot of carrying involved. Most canister weights range between 9 and 24 pounds. Therefore, it should have a handle with an ergonomic design for comfort.

Also, you want to consider the cleaning path of the vacuum. Most cleaning paths range between 10 and 15 inches, which is enough to get the job done. If you have a large floor plan, then go for the one with the highest cleaning path. This will reduce the number of passes you will have to make to complete the floor. Lastly, consider the noise level of the canister vacuum cleaner. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) and the higher the decibels, the more noise the canister makes. A vacuum with 60-65 dB is ideal, especially if you have kids and pets, while an 85 dB canister is very noisy.

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Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum Marine Blue (Compact C2) Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G Corded Canister Vacuum Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 Super Compact Canister Vacuum
Miele Eureka Oreck
Compact C2 3670G BB900DGR
18.7 pounds 11.6 pounds 5 pounds
16.7 x 9.6 x 9.1 in 9 x 17.5 x 11.6 in 13.5 x 5.2 x 8 in

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