The #1 way to maintain your carpet and extend its life is by simply vacuuming on a routine basis. However, vacuuming is a pain to most, but choosing the right vacuum is the “trick” to reduce the pain and make this a simple chore. Two elements of a vacuum are important:
- Must have a beater bar. Set the level so that you can easily push and pull the vacuum. The beater bar is just to supply enough vibration to the carpet fiber so it releases the dry dirt. Do NOT set it so low that it bogs down while rotating in the fibers.
- Must have superior suction. Traditionally you can choose an upright versus a canister. A great enhancement is the whirlwind type vacuums (Hoover, Eureka, Dyson, etc.) increasing the suction of the air intake via cyclonic action. However you can have the versatility of the canister as long as the vacuum attachment has a beater bar.
A design flaw you must be aware of is the air-path taking the debris from the vacuum head to the waste bag or cup. I recommend that your choice does NOT have this air-path pass through any hose. This will cause clogs where the hose interconnects with other parts of the vacuum or attachments. However, if you’re familiar with your vacuum, and the sounds related to its intake air-flow, you can resume efficient and effective vacuuming by removing any clog that develops. For most people, stick with a low weight upright with air-flow through the motor (picture), and forget the canisters.
In order to do the edges and hard to reach areas, you’ll need to pick up an inexpensive canister. The decreased amount of debris passing through the hoses eliminates any concerns about clogging. Suction is the only issue with canisters.
There are only two issues needed in a vacuum. Beyond those two that are listed above, it’s a matter of features important to you. For me the unit must weight less than 16 pounds, have superior suction and a beater bar. Good vacuums like this can be purchased below $200. Any other features you desire will cost extra.
Keep your vacuum simple, focus on quick, easy, and frequent (2 x per week, traffic lanes and open areas only) vacuuming, and extend the life of your carpet.