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Selecting The Perfect Vacuum

Last updated 4 years ago

By Richard Sanchez

Originally Published by CMM Online

In business, as in life, one usually needs a plan in order to succeed — that has, at least, been the conclusion of some of the most famous thinkers in history.

For facility service providers (FSPs), planning can play a significant role in every aspect of our businesses, including selecting a vacuum cleaner.

But, unfortunately, many of us fail to plan ahead when selecting a vacuum, often making how much we are willing to pay for the machine the only consideration.

This can result in selecting a machine that does not meet our needs, does not perform as well as is necessary, is physically stressful to use and is less than healthy to operate.

Doing a little research and planning before purchasing a vacuum cleaner can prevent those issues — and will likely save a considerable amount of money as well.

First Things First

Those who have made a bad choice when selecting a vacuum cleaner can take consolation in the fact that it''s not easy to select a vacuum cleaner today.

There are numerous brands and models available, including backpacks, uprights, wide-area machines, walk-behinds, canisters, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and non HEPA-filtered machines, all of which come in a variety of models with scores of options.

It can indeed be a bit bewildering, which is why the first step when selecting a new machine should be to decide where and how the machine will be used.

For instance:

  • Will the machine be used for emergency purposes only — when another machine fails — or will it be used for several hours every day?
  • Will the machine be used for day cleaning and be required to operate at a low decibel level?
  • Is the area that will be vacuumed large, such as a walkway in a hotel or office building?
  • Will the machine be used for high and low dusting or for vacuuming both hard floors and carpeting? In this case, a conventional upright may not be the best choice.
  • Is indoor air quality (IAQ) a major concern; has a green cleaning program been implemented in the facility? If either of these issues is a factor, a machine with an advanced filtration system will likely be necessary.

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Richard Sanchez is a building service contractor (BSC) working in Northern California. He may be reached at


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