We want our customers to get the most out of their new carpet, and maintenance is something that is frequently overlooked. A no-shoes policy is helpful, but not enough. We always suggest vacuum cleaners as a means of protecting your new flooring investment. 

The easiest but most effective way of carpet cleaning is vacuuming. Vacuuming regularly removes soil and dirt, which can damage carpet fibers and reduce the carpet’s useful life. However, not all vacuums are appropriate for different carpet types, it’s important to choose and use a proper vacuum on a routine basis.

 

 

How Often Should I Vacuum?

Some may say you can’t vacuum your carpet too much…that’s not quite true, but it would be hard to! Before we get into what to look for in your next vacuum, let’s discuss the frequency with which you need to be vacuuming your carpet.

Regular vacuuming helps to keep dust and grime from accumulating in the carpet fibers, weighing them down, giving them a dingy hue, and eventually being absorbed into the backing. Make vacuuming a regular part of your cleaning routine for the best results. 

You’ll determine how often you should vacuum by considering the amount of floor traffic your carpeting sees. How much “usage” is your carpet receiving in different areas?

  • High Traffic Regions

Vacuum the “traffic lanes” every day and the entire area twice weekly. 

  • Low/Medium Traffic Regions

Vacuum the carpet lanes twice weekly and the entire space once a week. 

  • Pets

If you have pets, you should vacuum at least once a day. Pets have a tendency to shed, drop fleas, and mess on carpets. Pay special attention to areas where pets congregate. 

If you wait until your carpet is visibly unclean before vacuuming, you may need to call a professional to deep clean your carpet.

 

Infographic on Vacuums for Fort Collins & Loveland carpet

5 Things To Look For In A Vacuum

Now let’s take a look at the factors to consider when purchasing a new vacuum.

1. Height Adjustments

The piles and heights of different carpets vary. To tackle the various kinds of carpets found in homes, vacuum cleaners with manually adjustable heights are the best choice. 

Manufacturers of vacuum cleaners include height adjustments to help owners get the most out of their cleaners. Many vacuum owners are unaware that a lower-height setting does not always imply a deeper clean but can, in fact, damage a deep or thick pile carpet. Setting your vacuum cleaner too low or too high can stop it from working properly. 

You can achieve the greatest clean by utlizing the height adjustment. 

  • Bare floors or thin carpets, the lowest setting on most models is perfect. 
  • Slightly fuller carpets, the medium setting provides the best suction. 
  • Longer pile carpets or area rugs, the highest setting is recommended.

 

2. Suction Power, Not Horsepower

The wattage of vacuum cleaners is sometimes promoted as a selling point, although it has little impact on how clean your carpet gets. These numbers are merely measurements of the motor’s electrical current usage. The airflow and suction produced by a vacuum cleaner will determine its performance. 

The volume of air displaced in a vacuum system is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Suction can be measured with a gauge that calculates how high (in inches) a stream of water will be lifted by the suction. When measuring performance, this vacuum or suction number (measured as “water lift”) is an excellent metric to use. These measurements are readily available from all vacuum motor manufacturers.

3. Cannister Vs Upright: What’s Best For You?

Choosing between canister or upright vacuums is based largely on your needs, individual interests, and budget. Upright vacuum cleaners are effective carpet cleaners that are less expensive to use and store. The majority of upright vacuum cleaners are bagless, using plastic containers that snap in and out of place. Upright vacuum cleaners are also useful for vacuuming stairs and pulling dirt out of hard-to-reach corners because they are lighter and easier to maneuver in tight areas. 

Canister vacuums have more suction power than upright vacuums and are better carpet cleaners. These are frequently preferable for larger spaces since they make it easy to go from one room to the next. Canister vacuums are usually quieter and have higher suction for bare floors, but they are more expensive. Both upright and canister vacuums have their benefits, you’ll need to consider your space and needs when choosing.

4. Attachments Are A Good Thing!

Your vacuum cleaner most likely came with at least one, if not more, attachments. We understand if you did not read the manual on how to use them, but when it comes to cleaning multiple surfaces and areas, attachments are where it’s at!

For carpeting in particular, the crevice tool is a gamechanger. It can get into the corners and edge where the carpet meets the wall to suck up dust and dirt that the regular vacuum may have missed. A flexible crevice tool can get behind furniture and in hard to reach areas, especially when used with an extension wand, which increases the length of the suction hose. And a power or turbo brush is great to use on stairs. 

You can find more to “demystify” vacuum attachment uses in this article from Good Housekeeping.

5. Bag Or Bagless To Suit Your Needs

Both bagged and bagless vacuums have their positives and negatives. You’ll need to decide which works best for your specific needs. 

Bagged vacuums are better at:

  • Deep cleaning, which is helpful for carpeting or rugs 
  • Keeping dust and dirt contained, which is imperative if you have allergies

However,

  • You’ll need to buy new bags regularly
  • Finding an earring or other small object that has been sucked up can be difficult 

Bagless vacuums are better at:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Ease when emptying and replacing the container

However,

  • Filters and dust containers must be kept clean and periodically replaced 
  • Allergens may be released into the air when emptying the dust container

Repair Or Get A New Vacuum?

If your vacuum cleaner isn’t cleaning as well as it used to, it may be time to get it serviced. Check your manual for instructions, but it is possible that a belt needs to be replaced or there may be a blockage affecting the machine’s power. Additionally, if you’ve recently purchased a new carpet, it may shed additional fibers and obstruct the airflow. As a consequence, you may need to examine the airways. 

If everything appears to be in place or if servicing the machine would cost a hefty sum, it may be time for a brand new vacuum.

Suggestions For A Quality Vacuum:

Some people may assume that high-expense or brand names mean a great vacuum. However, they would be wrong. In fact, your carpet’s warranty could be voided if you use one well-known brand—Dyson. We recommend using The Carpet and Rug Institute’s list of certified vacuums in addition to our suggestions to find a vacuum that is right for you. 

If you need more help, one of our Loveland & Fort Collins carpet experts at Graham’s Flooring & Design would be happy to speak to you about choosing a vacuum! 

Have Carpet Questions?

These tips will surely help you choose a vacuum to preserve your carpets for years to come. However, one day, it may be time to say goodbye to the old, matted carpet. On that day, Graham’s Flooring & Design would be ecstatic to help you choose your new carpet! 

We are your Northern Colorado carpet specialists, ready to give you a Free Flooring Design Consultation! And if you’re looking for any additional information on other Loveland or Fort Collins flooring topics we’d be happy to help. Contact us today!

While you’re here, learn more about carpeting by reading How to Maintain Your Carpet & Extend Its Life and see how to get Going Green with Graham’s! And for a little something completely different, consider a Bathroon Organization Remodel in 5 Steps.