Vacuum Cleaners: To Bag or Not to Bag?

When we’re out cleaning carpets, we often get asked about vacuum cleaners. Which type is best?

Last week discussed the pros and cons of different types of vacuum cleaners, but once you’ve chosen a type (unless you go with a robotic or stick style vacuum cleaner), you’re going to have to determine whether you prefer a bagged or bagless model.

Both options have their own benefits and disadvantages. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each.

The bagged model is the original vacuum cleaner—the one our mothers and grandmothers all used. Although bagless vacuums have become the most popular option for consumers since their introduction a couple of decades ago, bagged vacuums still sell. That tells you that the bagless option is not necessarily superior in every situation. A lot of people still prefer a vacuum cleaner with a bag, and not just out of nostalgia!

For one thing, bagged versions are more hygienic than their bagless counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that removing the vacuum bag and throwing it away releases a lot less dust and allergens into the air than emptying a canister. Bagged vacuums also usually come standard with HEPA filtration. (Many bagless models have HEPA filters, as well.) This means that fewer allergens will be released into the air, either through the exhaust or when changing the bag.

The main drawback to bagged models is that you have to keep buying bags for them! But keep in mind that many bagless models require repeat purchases, too—of filters. And with a bagged vacuum, you will begin to notice reduced performance as the bag fills. Some people see this as an early warning system, but for others, it can be a pain.

Bagless vacuums have become the most widely used type of cleaner for home use in recent years. They tend to be less expensive than bagged, and even if they require filter changes, it ends up being a less frequent purchase than if you had to buy bags all the time.

Another advantage to bagless choices is that it is very easy to see when the dirt receptacle is full since they are always made of clear plastic, easily viewable to the user.

Bagless is also the greener choice since you aren’t putting all of those bags in the landfill year after year. But emptying the receptacles can release a lot of dust and allergens, so if you have asthma or severe allergies, a bagged model is recommended. If you do go with a bagless option, it’s better to empty the receptacle outside of the home.

Hopefully, this post helped you narrow down your preference between bagged and bagless vacuum models!

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for top-notch professional carpet cleaning, give Five Step a call at 828.772.1824 or write us a line today!


Pros and Cons of Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners

Shopping for a new vacuum cleaner? With all of the brands and varieties on the market, it can be hard to know what model is right for your home or business. As Asheville’s top choice for professional carpet cleaning, we get asked about vacuums a lot. What type is best for cleaning carpets? Hard surfaces? Drapes and furniture? Which kind is best for air quality? While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, all types of vacuums have their own pros and cons. Take a look at the list below to help you narrow down your options.

  • Canister Vacuums- Canister style vacuum cleaners have a vacuum head that is attached to the main unit by a long hose. The main unit, or canister, rolls along on the ground behind you while you vacuum. These models usually come with multiple attachments for different vacuuming jobs, and a retractable cord reel that saves you the trouble of having to wrap and secure the cord yourself. One of the main draws of the canister vacuum cleaner is that it makes it easier to clean in nooks and crannies, and behind or underneath furniture. The wand style attachment also makes it easy to clean drapes, blinds, and walls. If you have stairs in your home, this might be the vacuum for you, as it is very difficult to tackle stairs with most other models. While a canister vacuum may be lighter weight and better for maneuverability than an upright, it isn’t as good at cleaning carpet, and storing it might pose some extra difficulties. If you have a bad back, you might want to go with another option—using a canister vacuum involves more bending than other types.
  • Upright Vacuums- Uprights are the most popular vacuum cleaners on the market. Their large, powerful heads make cleaning carpets a breeze, and it’s easy to store them because most of the space they take up is vertical. Most upright vacuums come equipped with longer cords and larger dirt capacities than canister models, and they often have motorized bristles for more effective carpet cleaning. The upright style can be heavy and unwieldy for lugging up and down stairs, but for straightforward vacuuming, it’s easier on the back than a canister style. Many uprights are designed specifically for carpets, so if you have different types of flooring in your home, make sure you purchase a model that can handle all of them.
  • Robotic Vacuums- Robot vacuum cleaners are great for busy people who either can’t move around due to age or injuries, or don’t have much time to clean. These little units clean while you’re at work, or at night while you sleep! Having your whole house vacuumed without any labor on your part sounds amazing, right? But there are a few drawbacks. First, these units can be difficult to program, so if you’re not tech-savvy, call a friend who is (or your grandkids) to help you get started. Secondly, robotic vacuums can miss areas that a human wouldn’t. But the biggest caution goes out to pet owners. It’s probably not a great idea to let your robotic vacuum have free rein of the house if you have pets, especially if they are not reliably house trained. There are plenty of horror stories on the internet about what happened when the cute little robot vacuum cleaner rolled through a puppy accident in the middle of the night. It’s not pretty, believe us!
  • Stick Vacuums- Another good choice for those with bad backs or limited storage, stick vacuums are made to be incredibly lightweight and their slim design means they’ll fit almost anywhere. The dirt receptacle in most stick vacuums is designed so that you can easily empty the container into the trash without touching the mess. But with all of that slimness and lightness, these vacuums sacrifice power and versatility. They tend to not come with attachments for different types of cleaning jobs, and their motors are usually weaker than other types, which means that they won’t suck up as much dirt and debris, and may have a harder time tackling carpets.
  • Central Vacuums- While central vacuum units pose a greater expense than any other type, the investment can be a worthwhile one. Central vacs are quieter, cleaner, and more flexible than portable vacuums. Their dirt capacity is huge, and they can often pump exhaust outside of the home. They’re great for cleaning hardwoods and other hard surfaces, and they’re the easiest of all of the options for cleaning stairs. One drawback is that they require professional installation, and if the unit breaks down, it can be difficult to find a local repair service. But if you’re looking to add value to your home for a future sale, central vacs are often a good investment.

We hope this list of pros and cons helped you narrow down the best vacuum cleaning option for your home or business! Check back for our next blog post, in which we’ll discuss bagged vs. bagless vacuum cleaners.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for a professional carpet cleaning service, give us a call at 828.772.1824 or send us a message today!


What’s the Best Vacuuming Frequency for Your Home or Business?

There are many benefits to installing carpet in our homes and businesses. The most obvious one is that it beautifies our surroundings. Carpeting also reduces noise and vibration and keeps our feet warm in the winter.

But carpet serves another function—one that’s not as beneficial to the home or business owner. Carpet absorbs matter. It attracts and traps unwanted substances over time, whether these substances are visible or not. In other words, even though your carpet may not look stained or dirty, it can still hold pollutants as a result of normal use. These pollutants can include soils, fibers, and atmospheric dust, as well as allergens like pollen, fungi, mycotoxins, and mites. If you have pets, you can add pet hair and dander to the list, as well.

Fortunately, regular vacuuming is a highly effective way of removing most of these pollutants. (Bacteria and viruses can also hide in your carpet, but these are more difficult to extract with just vacuuming. See this post for more information.)

So, how often should you vacuum? Well, it depends upon a number of factors. The answer will vary, not only from home to home and office to office but even from room to room and season to season.

Once a week will suffice for a moderate-traffic room with no extra considerations such as pets, children, or high humidity. Light traffic rooms may need less, and high traffic rooms may need more. You can determine your carpet care maintenance needs by consulting the list below.

Some factors to keep in mind when deciding how often to vacuum are:

  1. Frequency of use: is the room a high traffic area, like a family room, waiting room or hallway? These sorts of rooms will need more frequent vacuuming than low traffic areas like guest bedrooms and conference rooms.
  2. Children: Do you have children living in your home, or does your business cater to a lot of children, like a daycare or an indoor entertainment facility? If so, you will want to vacuum more often, not just because children tend to be greater vectors for dust and debris, but also because they are more susceptible to illness than adults.
  3. Sick and Elderly: Does your business serve the elderly and/or infirm? If you are operating a medical facility or a nursing home, you will want to vacuum more often as well in order to protect the health of your vulnerable patients.
  4. Temperature, Humidity and Time of Year: Does the area get more traffic during the summer than the winter? Often, the carpet in homes will need more vacuuming in the warmer months because people spend more time outdoors and therefore bring in more dust and debris from outside. Humidity is also a factor: the moisture in the air can collect pollutants and then condense on the carpet.
  5. Pets: Have cats and dogs? You should probably double the frequency of vacuuming in the rooms where they spend the most time.
  6. Smoking, cooking and woodstoves: Smoke and ash can easily get trapped in your carpet, as can oils and other cooking residues.
  7. What floor is the room on? Ground level floors tend to absorb more matter from outside than upstairs floors.

We hope you found this post helpful and informative! If you are looking for professional carpet cleaning in the Asheville area, give Five Step a call at 828.772.1824 or shoot us a message.