About Vacuums

There are two major types of vacuum cleaners, uprights and canisters. There are various differences between these types, the biggest difference is that you push an upright and pull a canister.

The uprights have a brush roller at the bottom to provide agitation and may have one or two motors depending on the type. Upright vacuum cleaners are designed to clean synthetic (nylon, olefin or polyester) carpeting and many also have the ability to turn off the revolving brush for cleaning smooth floors.  Uprights are the favorite type of vacuum cleaner in the US and Great Britain.  Canisters are the favorites in other parts of the world and in Europe.

Unlike the uprights, canister vacuum cleaners have a base unit that has the motor, the filter, and the dust bag. There are three types of canister vacuums.
Canisters may utilize a revolving brush like uprights in a cleaning tool known as a power head or power nozzle.

  1. The first type of canister has no power nozzle of any kind is called a straight suction canister and uses a variety of non-revolving brush floor and carpet tools to clean flooring.
  2. The second type is a canister with a turbo or turbine power nozzle, which is a power nozzle with a revolving brush that is powered by the airflow created by the canister’s suction motor.
  3. The third type of canister features a power nozzle where a separate electric motor drives a revolving brush roll. This type of canister is often referred to as a power team.

The canister vacuum types offer the best performance on carpet and smooth floors and with the hose and wand cleaning tools, it makes for easier cleaning when compared to the uprights. Uprights are usually cheaper than the canisters and can have good results. When buying a vacuum, you may want to consider how much you will need to vacuum, what surfaces you need to vacuum, and finally the amount you want to spend for a vacuum cleaner.

The most common type of rug is a wool rug and is the most durable fiber and has been used for thousands of years to create rugs around the world, where they need to be vacuumed with care.  A revolving brush can be used on wool, but the bristles must be flexible and forgiving, perhaps not so densely backed on the brush roll, so as not to fuzz the yarns and prematurely wear the carpet. Oriental rugs are often made from wool, but you can also find some made from silk.  These types of rugs would be more in value from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars and more. Rugs are sold for everyday use and need to be cared for with a good household vacuum cleaner where the bristles are flexible and forgiving. For high valued rugs, such as silk, you may want to use a carpet and rug tool that only provides suction instead of using a cleaner with a revolving brush.