learn_FloorcareBuyingGuide.jpg;canvasHeight=316;canvasWidth=572

Vacuum Cleaners

General Appliance & Kitchens serves the Berkeley/Oakland area and provides top quality products to our customers. Come in and see the quality of today’s vacuums up close. We offer quality upright and canister vacuum cleaners from Miele.

Upright vacuums are generally best for those with a lot of carpet. Upright vacuums are generally considered less versatile than canisters, but many folks say they feel more comfortable pushing an upright than they do maneuvering a canister vac. Also, it may be more difficult to clean under beds and other furniture with uprights, because the heads (which house the brush) may be too tall. If this is a problem, look for a vacuum with a low-profile head or use a stick vacuum for cleaning under furniture.
Also, canister vacuums can be easier to carry and to use on stairs and upholstery.

Consider the following when buying a new vacuum:

Look for a filter. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have excellent filtration properties, but other types of filters can be equally effective. Most vacuums control emissions fairly well; unless you have severe allergies, most filters will be adequate.

Choose between bagging and bagless.Bagless models eliminate the ongoing expense of buying new bags, but emptying the dirt cup can be messy. Bagging vacuums generally hold more dirt and may be preferable if you have allergies, because emptying a dirt bin can expose you to a cloud of dust. Either type will do a decent job of cleaning. Look for a model with a revolving brush roll that you can turn off if you plan to vacuum bare floors with your upright. Uprights generally have a tougher time cleaning bare floors because the revolving brush, which digs dirt out of carpets, often spits dirt from hard surfaces back out of the machine before it can be sucked up. Many vacuums have this feature, but some less expensive models do not.

Don’t bother with a dirt sensor. Sometimes you’ll see vacuum manufacturers advertising this feature, which is supposed to sense when dirt pickup slows, presumably meaning that the area is clean. However, reviewers say dirt sensors have nothing to do with performance.

Longer cords (30 feet or more) and longer hoses (7 feet or more) are desirable. A longer cord allows you to clean a bigger area without having to plug the machine into a different outlet. A longer hose makes it easier to clean high places with an attachment, and it’s less likely that the unit will tip over when doing so.

Think about the weight. Most upright vacuums weigh between 13 and 30 pounds. If you’ll need to carry it up and down stairs, you might be happier with a lighter vacuum. These usually have fewer accessories but might be worth the tradeoff.