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WHEN VACUUM CLEANER SHOPPING..........

When shopping for a new vacuum cleaner remember, the BEST vacuum cleaner for YOU is the one that will do the cleaning job that you require, on the surfaces that you must clean, with the effectiveness that you need. You should be able to afford the right vacuum, and you should feel comfortable using it regularly.

The following is a list of questions that we typically ask when you visit us about a new vacuum cleaner. We at ULTRA VAC utilize our knowledge and experience to take the answers to these questions and sift through the maze of all the models and narrow it down to 2 or 3 choices.

What type of carpet? (some of the new carpet styles have very specific requirements or your carpet warranty could be voided)

Do you have pets?

Does anyone in your family have allergies?

Do you have and what type of hard floors?

Do you use your vacuum to clean drapes? Shutters? Lampshades?

Do you want a vacuum with on board cleaning tools and attachments?

Do you have your carpet cleaned professionally on a regular basis?

What kind of vacuum do you currently use?

How long did it last?

What do you like about the vacuum?

What do you dislike about the vacuum?

Is your home single or multi-story?

How long do you expect your vacuum to last?

Do you have a budget for your new vacuum?

When purchasing a vacuum, there are generally 4 things that we consider to narrow your search:

  • ​Performance
  • Filtration
  • Longevity or Durability
  • Features

​Once we have narrowed down the choices for you, we recommend that you “test drive” the vacuum in our showroom. We will plug in each vacuum and let you try each one so that you can determine whether it is right for you.

We also have "Courtesy Vacuums" that you may "test drive" IN YOUR HOME. This will help you with your decision.

We will help you avoid the following "Vacuum Buying Mistakes"

1. Buying a vacuum at a store that does not repair or service vacuums

Can you get your new vacuum serviced where you purchased it? When you purchase a vacuum that fits your needs and problems arise, most of the time it is an easy fix. When you buy a vacuum, you should ask the sales person, “How long will it take to get my vacuum serviced? Can I get a loaner vacuum if I need one?” A good vacuum should be designed to last many years with proper maintenance. Your vacuum purchase should be the beginning of a long relationship with your retailer, not the end of one.

2. Buying a vacuum without trying it out first

Would you buy a car without a test drive? When buying a vacuum, try it out right in the store or test drive it in your own home. Too many times we go to a "big box" store thinking they have good selection and prices. Have you ever found anyone at one of these stores that has any knowledge about vacuum cleaners? A store that specializes in vacuums will have staff that can actually help you!

3. Buying a vacuum that doesn’t pick-up pet and human hair

Pet and human hair is one of the most common reasons why vacuums fail. Hair can get into bearings causing it to overheat and melt plastic parts of your vacuum. If you don’t get the right vacuum, you could be replacing it year after year. There are many vacuums to choose from that are designed to help with this problem. Some vacuums even have a metal brush roll which works great for people with long hair.

4. Buying a Bagless vacuum

Like HEPA filtration, many people don’t understand bagless vacuums. Most people don’t know that in order to work efficiently, you must replace the filters every three months to a year, and they cost as much as $95.00. High filtration vacuum bags cost about $2 to $4 each and you replace them every 1 to 2 months. Any good vacuum store will be able to get you any vacuum bag for a fraction of the price of a bagless vacuum’s HEPA filters.

5. Buying a “disposable” vacuum

Ask your store about the repair record of the vacuum you are considering. If they don’t know, that should register as a red flag. If you haven’t purchased a vacuum in ten years, you probably want your new vacuum to last 10 years or more. Unfortunately, the top manufacturers aren’t making the same vacuums they made 10 years ago. Look at the warranty. If it is only one year, you might not expect it to last ten. To ensure long life, vacuum manufacturers recommend that you service your vacuum once a year.

6. Buying a vacuum that doesn’t fit your needs

There are only 3 things that factor into cleaning: suction, airflow and brush roll action (not amps or watts). Make sure you are buying the right vacuum for your home. Different types of carpet and hard floors are cleaned differently. Some vacuums can scratch your hard floors or damage your carpets. Most bells and whistles don’t clean-they break. Make sure that the vacuum you are looking at will perform as you expect it to before you take it home.

Some other common mistakes:
  • Too Heavy: If you have to carry a vacuum upstairs, weight may become a consideration. There are vacuums specifically designed to be used on stairs. Sometimes it makes sense to have one vacuum upstairs and one downstairs. There are full size vacuums on the market that weigh as little as 8 pounds.
  • Too Dusty: This is the area where some people make a mistake in purchasing a vacuum. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is a standard that hospitals use for air filter quality. Very few vacuums are actually tested for HEPA filtration. Just because the packaging says HEPA, does not ensure that HEPA standards have been met. A high filtering vacuum will keep the dust and dust mites from flying throughout the room.
  • Have Area Rugs: You need professional advice if you have area rugs. Getting the highest suction isn’t necessarily the best choice. The type of rug will determine how aggressive your brush roll has to be. Too high suction or brush roll action may ruin your rugs. Too low will not clean. Either way, the wrong vacuum could shorten the life of your carpet.
  • Above Floor Cleaning (Attachments): Purchasing a machine that has tools that easily detach will make your cleaning job easier. Keep in mind that tools onboard will add weight to your vacuum.

Vacuums have a dirty job to do! They are also the most replaced appliance in your home. Again, because vacuums are used so often to pick up dirt, all manufacturers recommend service once a year. Before you buy, ask your store what you have to do if you need service or if there is a problem with your new vacuum. If they say you have to take it somewhere else to be repaired or serviced, you might want to buy it from the original source in the first place.

We will help you with these "VACUUM FACTS - TRUE OR FALSE"

Myth #1: Amps Mean Performance "FALSE"

Amps are a measure of electrical current, not vacuuming performance. Amps don't clean. The design of the machine, how it handles and controls airflow, and how it incorporates filtration determines its quality and performance.

Myth #2: Everyone Needs HEPA "FALSE"

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is a technical definition that refers to a filter that will remove 99.97% of 0.3 micron diameter particles or larger from the air that passes through it. HEPA filtration is only as good as the vacuum the filter is installed on. If the vacuum leaks past gaskets and seals, then the HEPA is doing no good.

Myth #3: Picking Up a “Bowling Ball” Shows Cleaning Power "FALSE"

The bowling ball trick is just that-a trick. Have you ever stuck a suction cup on a mirror and tried to remove it by pulling directly away from the mirror? Once a seal is created on a smooth surface, the seal is difficult to break. Does a vacuum tool’s ability to form a seal around a bowling ball and pick it up like a suction cup have anything to do with how well the vacuum can remove soil from a surface? No.

Myth #4: All Vacuum Belts are the Same "FALSE"

​Not all vacuum belts are created equal. Most vacuum belts will stretch, slip and wear out quickly, whereas a high-quality belt is geared or splined like an automobile timing belt, and can literally last for years. In addition, geared/ splined belts do not slip, ensuring better, consistent soil pickup and removal. Splined belts help ensure better overall performance, and they enable you to spend more time cleaning and less time changing belts.

Myth #5: Bagless Vacuums Do Not Use Filters & Require Less Maintenance "FALSE"

​Virtually all cyclonic or bagless vacuuming systems use a final filter to catch the dust that cyclonic filtration cannot remove from the airflow. All filters require cleaning or replacement to ensure optimal performance. If the filters are not properly maintained, the filter will clog and cause the resulting pressure build-up to force dirty, unfiltered air around the many seals of a bagless vacuum. The cost of replacing the final filter may equal or exceed the cost of using conventional bag.

Myth #6: All Vacuum Cleaners Have Similar Designs & are Equally Easy to Use "FALSE"

Weight, design and other factors affecting ease of use vary widely among vacuum cleaners and are critical factors with uprights, as is ease of rolling and maneuverability.

Myth #7: Suction Alone Makes a Vacuum Work Well "FALSE"

Actually, it’s the entire vacuum system that makes it effective or ineffective. There are five key benchmarks to use in evaluating a vacuuming system:

​A) Airflow
Airflow is the amount or volume of air moving through the vacuum, usually measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The amount of air moving through a vacuum affects the amount of soil that can be carried along by the airflow and contained in the vacuum’s filtration.

​​B) Agitation
Brush roller action is critical in removing deeply embedded dirt as well as sweeping sticky debris (pet hair) from the carpet. Brush roller selection should be made depending upon your individual situation.

​​C) Lift
Lift, also known as static lift or water lift, (actual suction) is the ability of the vacuum’s airflow to lift dirt. It is typically measured in “inches of lift” determined by a vacuum gauge.

​​D) Filtration
Filtration captures the soils and is mainly responsible for reducing particles out. Filtration must be designed and proportioned to work with the vacuum’s airflow and lift so that the particles are stopped but not the airflow.

E) Design
In some cases, good vacuuming potential and/or filtration are defeated by poor design. Examples of poor design include a tool orifice that lowers air velocity by being too wide and body tolerances that allow dust to leak around gaskets and seals.

"Buying a Vacuum Cleaner" Verses "Being Sold a Vacuum Cleaner"

Marketing vacuum cleaners to the consumer is like marketing any product. They tell you what you want to hear.

If you shop at the "big box" store you may read the box and believe the claims expressed. What will you do when your new vacuum doesn't work the way you expected after being sold by the box?

If you shop on TV after watching that "great" infomercial and your new vacuum doesn't work as smoothly as you expect.......... who do you talk to?

What about when you by you new vacuum online based on "customer reviews", do you wonder if those reviewers even used the vacuum. Are you disappointed?

The doorbell rings and you invite that "door to door" commission based sales person in for your "free carpet shampooing" demo. After setting up a multi year payment contract you realize that you've "been sold" a payment contract...... who do you call?

We at ULTRA VAC SERVICES are professionals and are here for you when you need us. We will tell you exactly what you need to know. Not just what you want to hear. You must be happy with your vacuum cleaner purchase. You satisfaction is our best advertising. You will tell everyone.

Vacuum Q & A