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A few months ago I was vacuuming our bedroom with our 5-year old Dyson ball when my husband came in and stopped me:
“Is that the vacuum making that burning smell?!” He asked.
“Yea. I mentioned it last week. Is it really bad?” I replied. Apparently it had gotten worse, but I had gone nose blind…
And that was the beginning of our journey into buying a new vacuum.
Dusting and vacuuming are my top priority when it comes to keeping our home clean, so I threw myself wholeheartedly into researching new vacuums. I learned a lot in the process, so I’m sharing a few of the tips I wish I knew earlier. Here are seven questions to ask before you buy a new vacuum:
1-) What’s my budget?
This is the first question you should ask yourself so you set the standard straight. Just remember to be realistic…the chance of getting a top-of-the-line vacuum $100 is slim.
Before you set a strict budget, it may be worth browsing the internet to see what you get at different price points. In addition, if your old vacuum is broken try asking your local vacuum repair shop to diagnose the problem and quote you for the repair. When we sent our old Dyson in for a diagnosis, they estimated the repair at $250. While still cheaper than a new Dyson, it was enough for us to instead consider a new vacuum with a fresh warranty. It wasn’t enough to justify a super expensive Miele C3 vacuum (which I had MAJOR shiny object syndrome over), but that information is a start!
2-) How much does size matter?
Different vacuums come at different sizes and weights, so be sure to consider how bulky or heavy you want to go. If you’ll be carrying the vacuum up and down stairs regularly, if you have back problems, or if storage space for it is limited, you’ll probably want a vacuum that’s easy to carry and compact. On the other hand, if you keep a vacuum for every floor of your home (or you live on a single level), and have plenty of space to dedicate to vacuum storage, size may fall low on the priority list.
3-) What features do I want/need?
Our old Dyson had two basic options: on/off and hardwood/carpet. In my eyes that was enough as long as the suction was good…
But when I borrowed my mom’s older vacuum I discovered that it would not push over our shag area rug! Vacuuming it became a major hassle, and I knew we needed to address the issue when we bought a new vacuum.
So when you’re working on your vacuum wish list, consider what your current complaints are with your current vacuum. Do you wish you had more attachments to get into hard-to-reach areas? Or that you had more control over the suction strength? Is it noisier than you like? Consider what features in a vacuum will make your vaccuming experience more pleasant.
4-) Do I care if it’s an upright or canister?
I don’t need to go into this in detail because most people already have strong opinions on the canister versus upright debate. That said, consider that uprights tend to be heavier but easier to store; canisters tend to be quieter and lighter but bulkier to store. So whatever you decide, make sure you actually try out the vacuum at the store first!
5-) Where does vacuuming fit in my cleaning and health priorities?
For some people, vacuuming is just a way to keep crumbs and messes under control. For others, making sure their home is well-vacuumed is important for keeping allergies and asthma under control. In addition, the dust in our homes has been found to contain carcinogens and hormone disruptors, so if reducing your exposure to these chemicals is important to you, you will need to take that into account.
If vacuuming is high on your priority list for these reasons, you’ll want to consider a vacuum with a true HEPA filter and that’s a closed system. Also keep this in mind when you’re working out your budget.
6-) Am I OK spending money to replace filters and bags? How about extra batteries?
Depending on the vacuum you choose, it may cost to continue using it over time. For example, bagged vacuums will require you to purchase replacement bags and vacuums that use replaceable HEPA filters will require replacement filters. Likewise, if you’re looking at cordless vacuums you may want to consider extra batteries and chargers in case your battery runs out mid vacuum.
Make sure you ask the cost of these items in advance as well as how often you may have to replace them. It’s important that you’re comfortable with the overall cost of the vacuum as well as the upfront investment.
7-) What’s the warranty?
If you’re investing in a vacuum, you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of insurance policy in case it breaks earlier than you expect. For us, this was a game changer…we could have spent $250 and get a 90 day warranty for only the new motor our old Dyson required OR we could get a new vacuum with a 7-10 year warranty with everything covered. For our situation, it just made sense to get a new vacuum…
Those are the top seven questions to ask before you buy a new vacuum!
And our readers want to know…what vacuum do you use and love?
For those of you that are wondering, we ultimately purchased the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum and LOVE it! It’s great for allergy sufferers and lightweight. It also feels much sturdier than our Dyson ever did and handles well. Now I’m looking forward to getting the Miele C3 vacuum even more one day when we live in a home with two floors!
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