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When choosing your main vacuum the type of floor surfaces to be cleaned may be the most important factor in your decision. Carpet, linolium, ceramic, hardwood laminate are just some.
Your three main choices for a vacuum are an upright, canister or central vacuum:
An upright does a good job on carpet but on hard surface floors a fair job at best. The uprights that you can turn off the revolving brush can do a better job on hard surfaces.
Cleaning under furniture can be difficult be difficult and cleaning stairs or furniture with the tools can be awkward. Uprights can be the least amount of money to purchase and if you can sweep or mop your hard surface floors, an upright could be the vacuum to fit your needs.
A canister vacuum can be purchased with or without a power nozzle for cleaning carpet. For hard surface floors a soft bristle floor brush is usually best and will not scratch your floors.
A combination tool will do smaller low pile mats but for larger area carpets or wall to wall carpet a power nozzle is needed for best results. There are air turbo nozzles for lower pile carpet and are very light and easy to use.
However, to do a better job or on higher pile carpet an electric power nozzle is needed. These vary from light and easy to use to heavier power nozzles for better results and usually less maintenance. Cleaning under and around furniture is easier with a canister vacuum than an upright vacuum.
The canister vacuum is the most versitile because of its ability to do any floor surface as well as doing stairs and furniture which can be done with less effort. A canister without a power nozzle is less money than one with a power nozzle but if you have carpets the power nozzle is needed to clean carpets properly.
The same hard floor and carpet nozzles of a canister are used with a central vacuum so a central vacuum can do most of the same things as a canister vacuum when cleaning carpet or hard surface floors or under and around furniture.
A central vacuum is better for stairs because of its longer hose. A central vacuum needs to be installed within the walls of your house. Installation is usually easier when the house is being built but sometimes can be installed later in an older home.
With a larger dirt container a central vacuum does not have to be emptied as often as an upright or canister. When you sell your house a central vacuum usually stays behind. Central vacuums can vary greatly when choosing power, accessories and price.