When buying a vacuum you face a variety of choices: wet/dry, wide-area, uprights (dual and single motor), canisters and backpacks. Obviously, some may prove more effective in certain situations and on certain types of flooring than others. Which one is right for you?
Professional upright vacuum cleaners are available in two key categories: single- and dual-motor. A single-motor machine can do double, if not triple, duty: the motor generates suction, drives the roller brush and impels dust and debris into the machine’s filter bag.
A dual-motor machine, on the other hand, has one motor that drives the roller brush and another that generates suction and deposits debris into the filter bag. At one time, dual-motor machines were rated as considerably more powerful than single-motor systems, and they still tend to have more power and better performance, making them the best choice in more challenging cleaning environments. However, new technologies and engineering have improved the cleaning performance of single-motor systems significantly in recent years. These machines also tend to be less expensive, an important consideration if budget concerns are paramount.
The latest generation of canister vacuum cleaners seems to be the housekeeper’s little secret. Cleaning professionals often prefer such models over any other type of vacuum cleaner. That’s because the new generation of canisters are quieter, smaller, lighter, easier to use and much more powerful than systems introduced just a few years ago. These vacuums can be used to clean both hard and soft floor surfaces as well as upholstery and draperies. They are also useful for cleaning under furniture, in hard-to-reach areas and for high and low dusting. Their flexibility means they can improve worker flexibility and productivity considerably. Because some of these systems are so quiet (less than 70 decibels), they also work well in situations in which building users and staff are present.
Backpack vacuum cleaner models take the prize as far as improving worker productivity. They are often used in “specialty cleaning” situations in which people work together on cleaning teams. They have also become very popular with contract cleaners. Like canisters, they can be used to vacuum many different kinds of hard and soft surfaces. These systems are designed to be worn on a cleaning worker’s back using a harness--and in the past, this was their key drawback. Early backpack vacuums were heavy and noisy and they tended to vibrate and heat up, all of which caused discomfort for the worker. Some newer systems, however, have eliminated virtually all of these problems, and many models also offer redesigned harnesses that are much more comfortable.
Wet/dry and wide area
The two other types of vacuum cleaners--wet/dry and wide area--are designed for specialized cleaning situations. Wet/dry vacuums are used to vacuum up wet debris. They are often called in to vacuum up slurry and rinse water when floors are stripped and refinished or to remove water sitting on hard surface floors or carpets as a result of a plumbing leak, for instance. While these machines are rarely used for daily cleaning, a wet/dry vacuum cleaner is a good idea for any restaurant to have on hand.
Wide-area vacuums are designed to clean large carpeted areas, such as those often found in hotels. They can also significantly speed up the vacuuming of long and large carpeted hallways.