Wehrli's Vacuum Center

Vacuum Personality

“So, what’s the best vacuum?”  It’s a natural question to ask, and one we hear every day.  Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple – if there was one “best” vacuum, we’d sell just that one, and we could run our store out of a phone booth!

Really, the question to ask would be, “what’s the best vacuum for me and my home?”  Now, that’s a question we can answer.

Let’s start with the flooring in your home – what kinds do you have, and how much of each?  Carpets and rugs require a spinning brushroll, and plush carpets need lots of airflow to get the dirt out of the pile.  Hard floors shouldn’t be cleaned with a brushroll, because it will scatter the dirt you’re trying to pick up.  If you have hardwood floors, look for a tool with natural bristles or felt pads to prevent marking the floor.  In a home where area rugs are laid on top of hard floors, a vacuum that will easily go from one to the other is necessary.  Where the home is mainly carpeted and only the kitchen, bathrooms and entryway are hard surface floors, perhaps two vacuums would be appropriate – one for the carpet, and one to handle hard floors and above-the-floor cleaning.  In fact, this is the preferred system of many professional cleaning crews.  It spreads the work between two machines, and each can perform its function better than an “all-in-one” vacuum.

If large quantities of hair (pet or human) are encountered, a durable brushroll design using sealed metal parts is necessary, to prevent hair buildup from damaging the brushroll, bearings and housing.

Another good thing to consider is how you typically clean.  Some people do frequent, small cleanups – cleaning a room or two at a time, or vacuuming just the halls and traffic areas.  Others take a full day and clean everything top-to-bottom.  The first group would prefer a vacuum that’s simple to take out and use, without a lot of parts or extra accessories.  On the other hand, thorough cleaners demand that a vacuum be versatile and adaptable to all the surfaces in the home.  Often, a canister is preferable for these people, because of its ability to clean under furniture, and its easy adaptability to above-the-floor cleaning.

Often, people have certain expectations for the lifespan of their vacuum.  At one time, you could buy most any vacuum and get it to last thirty years or more.  Today, very few vacuums have that potential, and most vacuums have a lifespan of between five and ten years.  If you use your vacuum a lot, or expect a lifespan of over ten years, be prepared to invest in a quality vacuum that has durable components, a long-life motor, etc.  It is helpful to look for manufacturers who primarily build commercial vacuums – often they produce a line for home use which has the same commercial quality.

One final thing to consider is the issue of filtration.  More than ever before, today’s vacuums advertise high, allergy-grade filtration – usually the term “HEPA” is used to indicate the degree to which a vacuum filters fine dust particles.  There are a couple of issues to think about here.  First, do these advanced filtration systems really work better?  The answer is, often not.  Many manufacturers’ solution to providing a high-filtration vacuum involves taking an existing vacuum design and fitting a HEPA filter cartridge onto it.  While the air coming through the HEPA cartridge will be properly filtered, any air escaping through leaks in the vacuum’s housing will not.  We have seen hundreds of “HEPA filtered” vacuums come into our service center covered in fine dust – this is why.  Most of the exhaust air is completely circumventing the HEPA filter – especially once it becomes clogged.

If you and your family require a high-filtration vacuum for medical reasons, using a vacuum that isn’t properly sealed will be more of a threat to your health than using no vacuum at all, as it will simply act to remove dust from surfaces, and make it airborne – very little of the fine dust you’re concerned about will actually be trapped.

The solution is to look for a vacuum designed expressly to have high, hospital-grade filtration.  This means that the vacuum’s interior parts will be heavily gasketed to ensure that 100% of the air entering the vacuum is forced through the filter media.  Nearly all higher-end European vacuums have this design.  Some even allow you to customize the filtration system to your needs.

We hope this information has helped you narrow down your choices, and given you a good idea of what you’re looking for in a new vacuum.  For extra help or if you have questions, please Contact Us.


what is your vacuum personality?

Your guide to find the best vacuum for your needs. Vacuum Personality