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What is a Canister Vacuum Cleaner?

Canister vacuums have many advantages over upright vacuums.
A canister vacuum cleaner is lighter and more portable than regular vacuums.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Hobby
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A canister vacuum cleaner is a vacuum cleaner that typically consists of a rolling canister that has a flexible hose and long wand attached to the canister which contains a motor and a vacuum cleaner bag. Some models may be bagless. A canister vacuum cleaner is a lighter and more portable alternative to the typical upright vacuum cleaner. A canister vacuum gives its owner versatility because it may be used on multiple surfaces such as carpet, tile and hardwood floors.

There are many advantages to using a canister vacuum. Canister vacuums have the option of turning off the rotating brushes on the main attachment, which makes it perfect to vacuum bare floors. Additionally, canister vacuums are usually easier to push than upright vacuums; many canister vacuums have some kind of filtration system and most have canister attachments with a retractable power cord.

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When considering what canister vacuum to purchase, it is important to find the features that fit the place when the canister vacuum cleaner will be used. If there is a lot of furniture, drapes and moldings to clean around, a vacuum with multiple tools and attachments should be purchased. Large spaces require a vacuum with long cords and hoses and vacuums that are lighter in weight should be purchased if they have to be carried up and down stairs. Regardless of what features are used, all canister vacuum cleaners should be easy to move around, their attachments should be simple to use and easy to empty.

A canister vacuum cleaner should also have power nozzles or brushes if it is intended to be vacuuming carpet or rugs. The nozzle has a revolving brush which helps dig dirt out of carpeting. Power brushes may also be turned off when vacuuming bare floors. Some vacuums lack motors to power the brushes and rely on weaker turbo-driven or suction-driven brushes.

High Efficiency Particular Air (HEPA) filters are also available features on some canister vacuum cleaners. HEPA filters are a great option for people with allergies or pets, because they filter 99.97% of the air. The bagless variety of vacuums may cause a lot of dust, so even a bagless canister vacuum is not recommended for people with allergies. Some vacuums are labeled HEPA, but not all air is filtered through them. It is crucial to find a “sealed HEPA” or a “true HEPA” vacuum to filter the air efficiently.

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