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You need a good vacuum cleaner to keep your indoor environment clean and healthy. A poor vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, will give you a headache in more ways than one. When it’s time to buy a vacuum, don’t rush out and buy the most attractive model at your local big box store. Think of this purchase as an investment in your health and research it accordingly. Here are 5 essential questions to help you in the process:

1. Do I need a commercial vacuum or residential vacuum?

Industrial or commercial vacuum cleaners are heavy-duty machines, and they’re often made for specific jobs like hazardous material cleanup, mould remediation, mercury cleanup, or museum artefact cleaning. Nilfisk vacuum cleaners set the gold star standard when it comes to commercial vacuums. (Nilfisk also manufactures backpack vacuums, hip vacuums, and residential vacuums.) Pullman-Holt is outstanding industrial machines as well. They feature premium filtration suitable for the remediation of asbestos, mould particles, lead, and bio-hazardous dust.

If you’re looking for a residential vacuum cleaner, continue reading to learn more.

2. Do I prefer a stick, upright, or canister vacuum?

Upright vacuums are ideal for homes and offices that are mostly carpeted with some hard floor areas. These vacuum cleaners are easy to steer, so they’re ideal for large, open areas. Many uprights, like Miele vacuums, have closed bagged systems and superior filtration that make them ideal for allergy-sufferers. Others include useful accessories for whole-house cleaning. Features to look for are height adjustment, suction control, and power cord length.

Canister vacuums are easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces and carry up the stairs. They’re also recommended for homes and offices with mostly bare floors and light carpeting. In addition, with their flexible suction hoses, canisters make it easy to clean stairs, upholstery and drapes as well as under furniture. Popular canister vacuum cleaners include those from Miele, Electrolux, and Eureka.

If you live in a small apartment or condo with low-pile carpeting or smooth flooring, you might prefer a convenient Stick Vacuum. Lightweight, easy to manoeuvre, and ideal for quick cleaning, these vacuums are great for spot cleaning as well. With the push of a button or the removal of attachments, some models transform into handheld vacuums that allow you to clean all those tight spots with better portability.

3. Are allergies a concern?

If you have allergies or asthma, you definitely want a vacuum cleaner with the ability to remove allergens from the environment without simply stirring them up. Make sure that the vacuum has a HEPA filter (capable of collecting 99.97% of pollutants 0.3 microns and larger) and an airtight design. Additionally, we recommend bagged vacuums for allergy-sufferers. Bags trap allergens better than the collection containers in bagless vacuum cleaners.

Bagged Miele vacuums are great choices for cleaning your environment with ease while also removing harmful, symptom-triggering allergens. Most Miele vacuums feature completely sealed HEPA filtration and self-sealing dust bags that lock closed, so no dust and allergens escape when it’s time to replace the bag.

If you have allergies, don’t forget to vacuum upholstery, drapes, and other infamous dust catchers.

Miele, as well as other HEPA vacuums, are excellent for pet-allergies and the removal of pet dander, odours, and hair.

4. Do I prefer a bagless vacuum?

Customers seem split on bagged or bagless vacuums. Bagless vacuums offer added convenience and you don’t have to worry about replacing bags if you purchase one. On the other hand, bagged vacuums tend to keep even the tiniest particles in its bag, while emptying bagless bins can allow dust and allergens back into your space. If you prefer a bagless vacuum, always empty the container outdoors, especially if you have allergies. Otherwise, you’re polluting your indoor air with microscopic allergens and other particles.

5. Do I need a wet/dry vacuum?

If you frequently have to clean up wet spills whether, in a commercial or industrial environment, you’ll want a wet/dry vacuum. You can check out the popular Nilfisk Attix 30 model, which is a HEPA vacuum with wet/dry cleaning abilities.