Barrel Vacuums

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  • Miele Compact C2 Allergy Bagged Vacuum Miele Compact C2 Allergy Bagged Vacuum
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  • Shark Dynam-IQ Bagless Barrel Vacuum Shark Dynam-IQ Bagless Barrel Vacuum
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  • Shark Dyam-IQ Bagless Barrel Vacuum with Flex Wand Shark Dyam-IQ Bagless Barrel Vacuum with Flex Wand
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  • Electrolux Silent Performer Bagged Vaccum Electrolux Silent Performer Bagged Vaccum
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For thorough cleaning around your home, you may want a barrel vacuum.

With so many features and innovations, it can be difficult to figure out which vacuum cleaner is best for your home. To help make things easier, we answered the most asked barrel vacuum questions.

What is a barrel vacuum?

The two most common types of vacuum cleaner in Australian homes are barrel vacuums and upright vacuums. Both types come in bagged and bagless models.

 

Barrel vacuums (also known as cylinder vacuums and canister vacuums) house their motor inside a body with wheels that is pulled along behind the handle and vacuum head as you clean. The vacuum head is attached to the motor via a height-adjustable metal cylinder that is connected to a flexible plastic hose. This design makes barrel vacuums more efficient at cleaning in tight, awkward spaces like stairs or inside cars in addition to thorough, all-round cleaning.

 

Upright vacuums place the motor, vacuum head and handle all inside the same single unit that you push along the floor. Because of their design they tend to be heavier, harder to store and more awkward to manoeuvre. They are good at cleaning large areas of level carpeted flooring but are generally less efficient at cleaning in awkward or tight spaces like stairs and car interiors.

How do you compare the cleaning power of vacuum cleaners?

There is no single, measurable factor that can determine the overall cleaning quality of a vacuum. But there are a few specifications you can consider collectively that can be useful when comparing models.

 

The first comparison you can make is the Watts. The watts of a vacuum cleaner measures how much power the motor will consume as it is being used. Whilst this measure doesn’t account for energy efficiency, it is a good place to start when comparing the cleaning power of a vacuum.

 

The water lift (sealed suction) of a vacuum will help you compare suction performance as the bag or dust collector fills up and the filters get loaded. This is particularly useful when looking at vacuums with HEPA filters.

 

Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and lets you compare how much force is applied to a surface as it is being cleaned. It factors in the power of the motor and the resistance of the bag and filter that the air must flow through. A vacuum with more than 100 CFM is recommended.

Can I stop my vacuum cleaner from losing suction?

Emptying the dust collector or replacing the dust bag regularly as it fills is one of the easiest things you can do to improve the suction quality of your vacuum. As your vacuum collects dirt and dust, it builds up and begins to obstruct air flow throughout your vacuum, reducing the suction power in the process.

 

This principle also applies to the vacuum cleaners’ filter. Depending on the model, the filter may be cleaned by brushing off collected dust or washing it in water. The filter may be a foam block or a mesh and some may need to be replaced rather than cleaned, so always check the user manual to see how to take care of your filters.

 

If your vacuum head has a roller or brush inside, check to make sure it is clean and not being obstructed. Longer hairs, threads, dental floss and stray shoelaces can get wrapped around a brush head to stop it from spinning. Scissors work well for removing these if they can’t be easily pulled away by hand. Be careful not to cut the bristles.

Which vacuum cleaner is best for me?

Vacuum cleaners with a power head will have a separate built-in motor for the vacuum head. This motor works in conjunction with the rotating brush to agitate the carpet as it cleans, which helps bring embedded dirt and dust to the surface for a deeper clean. These can also be great for cleaning up after pets. Because of the additional motor in the head, these vacuums tend to be a lot bulkier and heavier, but they may also include wheels that propel the head forward automatically to compensate.

 

Consider what sort of attachments come with your vacuum. Crevice nozzles are great for getting around chair cushions, along skirting boards and in corners. Upholstery brush heads are great for cleaning curtains and soft furnishings.

 

Vacuums with HEPA filters are a great option for people who experience asthma or allergies. These can filter out additional particles like pollen, mould, pet dander, tobacco particles and dust mite droppings. This type of filter needs to be replaced annually to work effectively.