Vacuums: A Brief History
One of the greatest household engineering achievements of the twentieth century is the vacuum. Before its invention people cleaned floors with mops, brushes, and brooms. Twig brooms were used as far back as 2300 B.C. by cave dwellers.
The first vacuum was patented in 1901 by a British civil engineer named H. Cecil Booth in 1901. His inspiration came from observing railroad seats being cleaned by a device that blew compressed air at the fabric to force out dust. He decided sucking at the fabric would be more effective measure of cleaning and so the first modern vacuum cleaner was born. Booth created a large device, known as ‘Puffing Billy’, driven first by an oil engine, and later by an electric motor. It was wagon mounted and drawn by horses and parked outside the building to be cleaned.
Thankfully vacuum technology has come a long was since Puffing Billy. A series of inventive engineers, such as P.A Fisker (modern day Nilfisk-Advance), Walter Griffiths (created the first domestic vacuum-cleaning device to resemble the modern vacuum cleaner) and W.H. Hoover (among his other engineering innovations was The Hoover Constellation, the first hovercraft vacuum that actually floated on air rather than using wheels) were responsible for revolutionizing the vacuum manufacturing industry.
Canister VS. Upright? : That is the question
There has long been a debate on which style vacuum is better – canister or upright? There are some distinct differences between the two that you should consider before making a decision.
Canister vacuums are easily maneuvered because you are only pushing a lightweight head rather than the whole vacuum. They reach under furniture with ease because of a low profile head. You cannot only vacuum your floors, but upholstered furniture and stairs as well. Also, with canister vacuums there is a wide array of attachments you may not get with an upright (bare floor heads, stair and upholstery attachments). Over all, canister vacuums are lighter, smaller and easier to store.
Uprights do offer their conveniences too. There is broad selection of bagless models. Uprights that do have bags are often much bigger than ones used in canisters so you don’t have to change them as often. For single story houses with open floor plans, multiple hallways and large carpeted areas an upright is easy to use.
There are cost and maintenance differences between the two styles as well. Canisters tend to cost a bit more than uprights, however, canisters tend to be easier to fix since their design is simpler.
What to look for in a Vacuum: Suction Power!
When choosing your vacuum you want to go with what feels best for you. Maneuverability, design and comfort level are all qualities to look for. Vacuums are one of the most important household helpers and it pays to invest in something that works well for you and is made to last. By far the most important quality in a vacuum is suction power – after all, that’s its primary job.
Despite being told the contrary, amps are not a good measure of a vacuum cleaner's performance. The amp rating tells you how strong the motor is, not necessarily how strong the suction power is. Suction power is actually measured by "inches of water lift." Water lift measures, under test conditions, how high a vacuum can pull water up a tube. The best advice we can offer when inquiring about vacuums is to ask about the water-lift measurement of the vacuum. It should be listed in the vacuum's specifications. A good vacuum should be rated at 75 inches or more
The Big Vac: Why We Love It!
Cleaning house for a living is hard work. You had better believe that a vacuum is not only the best friend of a housecleaner but it should also be a fine piece of cleaning equipment that has to be built to make housecleaning easier. The Clean Team has gone through quite a few vacuums since 1979, and we've tried a number of major brands. Here are some of the features the Big Vac offers that we think are key to its superior operation.
- Its the canister type
- It has 91 inches of "water lift" (a measure of suction power)
- Its comfortable to hold and use
- Its able to vacuum most furniture (and under it too)
- It doesn’t tip over when yanked by the hose
- Its hose never twists during use
- It has handle for easy lifting
- Its light enough to spare your back
- It has a paper dust bag that's large enough to last for weeks, Its pleated filter traps particles down to 0.5 micron