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Vacuums & Floor Cleaners
Cleaning the floor is a regular chore that helps keep dust and grime under control and promotes a clean, healthy workplace. Of the cleaning implement options, vacuums make the task that much easier. Regularly going over the carpet with a vacuum sweeps up those fine particles that get stuck in the fibers and it helps scrub allergens out of the air. For any office, shop, or private home, daily or weekly vacuuming is a must, but the sheer variety of different models makes choosing one tricky.
Upright Vacuums and Canister Models The basic division between full-sized vacuum cleaners is upright and canister. An upright model has a forward intake directly connected to the motor and dustbin. This gives the incoming air a short path to the filter and makes for an efficient path over carpets. Some can adapt to smooth flooring as well, and most clear a swathe 15 inches wide at a pass. Uprights often have hoses and attachments for getting into tight spots. Designed to be relatively compact, they are ideal for storing in small closets or for keeping out of the way in corners when not in use.
A canister model mounts the dustbin to the motor, with both contained in a wheeled base or canister. The intake on these models is usually at the end of a long hose. While uprights efficiently sweep out large paths across floors, and canisters can do this too, the major advantage with canister units is the versatility they offer in getting to hard-to-reach spaces and irregular surfaces, such as stairs.
Bag Vacuums Versus Bagless Models Some upright and canister vacuums use disposable bags to collect debris, while others avoid the bags and use elaborate filtration systems instead. Bag systems are fairly simple: the motor creates a low-pressure area behind the bag, air, and dirt flow into the bag, and then clean air flows out through the bag's slightly porous walls. Bags need frequent replacement, but they release very little dust in the process.
Bagless models are often more complicated. These usually draw dirty air into a canister with a gently sloping spiral inside of it. As the air flows over the long surface of this plane, it loses energy and drops the dirt. What's left of the pollen and other fine particles finds its way into the filter as air flows out through the port. Bagless models have very efficient vacuum filters but take care, as emptying the dustbins can get messy.
Other Vacuums and Their Features Designed for specific jobs, these floor cleaners are available in different styles. Handheld vacuums work really well at cleaning up spills and small messes. These lightweight units have very small bins, but the lesser jobs they do don't fill them up very quickly. Robotic vacuums do all of the work on your behalf, saving you time and energy. These are effective at cleaning hard floors and sweeping up light spills.
Do Vacuums Work on Hardwood Floors? Many models primarily work on carpets but may be effective on linoleum or tile. Some stick cleaners are especially useful on smooth flooring. Avoid large units with powerful carpet beaters that can damage wood floors.
What Is the Role of Beaters in Vacuums? Beaters rotate with the cylinder to repeatedly strike (or “beat”) the carpet. This knocks large amounts of dust and heavy grit into the air, where the rotating brushes sweep it away.