A vacuum's ability to lift is a valid measurement. In fact, it is called vacuum, or water lift.
See how strong a vacuum can be by simply swallowing the air out of a two liter plastic soda bottle. That is actually about all it takes to lift a bowling ball! The suction capacity of a vacuum is not the key to effective vacuuming. The real key is how much air the vacuum moves and how fast it moves it.
Water lift
becomes somewhat important when the air opening size is smaller - for example in air driven brushes, because the strength of the suction keeps the air turbine spinning when tension increases. Water lift measurements will fluxuate based on the actual amount of voltage the motor is receiving, the altitude, air temperature, and the barometric pressure.

Water Lift is measured in inches of water. The following chart compares the types and brands of vacuum cleaners as well as their motor's VACUUM Water Lift.

click here to view chart

"The best vacuum is the vacuum that fits your needs."
Generally high prices and advanced features will not guarantee that your vacuum will never require service or perform the best cleaning. Do not be fooled by vacuum ads promising maintenance-free filters, or that a weightless vacuum using a 4-amp motor can pick up a bowling ball, or even vacuums that can pick up bolts and screws hidding the fact that is practically impossible for these objects not to clog your filters.

Features Add More Money to the price. Essential features such as a full-bag indicator, motor protection to prevent motor from overheating, and exaust air filters are a must. Other features such as a dirt sensor, motorized brush roll, self-cleaning filters are sometimes unreliable and can only add more to the price.
Suit your needs. For example, if you need to vacuum carpets and bare floors, look for a vacuum cleaner in which you can control the power ON and OFF of the brush roller. If most of your house has tile, ceramic, or wooden floors, you shouldn't have to spend a fortune because you will be better off using a straight-suction canister vacuum for a lower price than a power-brush canister. A suction-control feature can be helpful because it allows you to vacuum over soft or delicate fabrics. Automatic height adjustment can be helpful if you have 2 or more carpets of different thickness.

Bagged vacuum cleaners accumulate the dust inside a sealed bag while bagless vacuums
accumulate the dust inside a dust compartment. By design, a BAGLESS 'permanent' HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Air) filter TRAPS the dust before it is sucked by high air-compression suction from the motor. The motor generates windage (windage is the air needed for the motor to keep it warm) and warm air passes through another exhaust HEPA filterBEFORE it is released back into your clean home environment. This is a cycle. A good example is the Air Conditioned filters in your home.

Some brands such as Fantom, Dyson and others claim to have lifetime permanent or washable HEPA filters.
There is NO such thing as a "Lifetime HEPA Filter". Yes, it is allowed to wash these filters, but continious use, old age, and accumulative dust will cause blockages in the microscopic filter pores, making your motor to loose suction and run very hot. This could result in overheat damage to the motor. Not to mention the fact that the use of dirty HEPA filters will cause your vacuum cleaner to release microscopic dust particles back into the air.

For maximum performance and clean air, ALWAYS replace your HEPA filters every 6 to 12 months (depending on
how much carpet you have and how much you use your vacuum each week). Remember, even bagged vacuums can have HEPA exhaust-air filters, but their cost is less than BAGLESS vacuums permanent HEPA filters. A BAGLESS vacuum requires more maintenance and can be messy when it comes to emptying the dust compartment. If your dust compartment is full, it is best recommended to take it outside the home and emptying it. On the other side, a BAGGED vacuum will only require a bag change when the bag is full. Changing the bag is always easy, as long as you buy the original vacuum bags!!!

>Find out the cost of HEPA filters and/or bags of the vacuum you wish to buy.
>Find out what process(es) if neccessary you will need to make to keep your vacuum clean and running at max performance i.e. washing the filters, replacing new belts, or how to remove a blockage from your vacuum, etc.

Find out WHERE to buy the filters, belts, bags, and other parts that you will need in the future.
Some vacuums are exclusive and only a few stores in your city will carry parts for these. In some occasions, supermarket stores will sell you the filters, bags, and belts ONLY for a limited time but after they discontinue selling a certain vacuum cleaner model, they will stop the sales of all products for that model.

BAGGED or BAGLESS, it is always recommended to have your vacuum cleaner clean & sanitized by a professional
every 12 to 18 months.

motor prolongs the lifetime of the motor. Certain brands carry a plastic fan which is used to intake the dust and dirt into the bag or dust compartment. These vacuum cleaners offer poor air quality and lower suction. You should also be careful of what you are picking up from the carpet/floor, a single coin or bolt can crack or break your fan. All vacuum cleaners with outter cloth bags reflect FAN MOTORS.

A BYPASS motor eliminates this problem. In a BYPASS motor, the dirt and dust you are picking up goes STRAIGHT into the bag or the bagless compartment. BYPASS motors contain sealed aluminum fans and are more quiet, clean, and reliable. They often include a heat sensor that shuts off the motor automatically in case of a intake blockage, a full bag, or dirty filters. This is called motor overload protection.

A normal BYPASS motor contains 1 sealed aluminum fan. These are high air-compression suction motors. However, you can find brands such as Panasonic, Riccar, Sanyo, Bernina, Sharp, and all Central Vacuums which could contain up to 2 fans inside their motors. Only Panasonic has a pattented inovation motor called 'Tri-Force' (left picture) which forces the air through a duct in between the 2 fans to speed up air flow (Panasonic Platinum Series).


A height adjustment feature allows you to control the raising and lowering of the frontal wheels in your vacuum cleaner. Raising the wheels too high can prevent you from picking up small dust particles, and lowering the wheels too much can put too much pressure on your brush roll causing your belts to wear out faster and/or break. You have to set your height adj. just to the right position depending on the deepness of your carpet. An automatic height adjustment will self-adjust to the deepness of your carpet.

UPRIGHTS AND CANISTERS. Today, many features from the canister vacuums are incorporated into upright vacuum cleaners. Features such as long hoses, bypass motors, brush roll control, and upholstery tools are used in both uprights and canisters.

Canisters are useful for cleaning drapes, under furniture, and other spots that require a hose and tools. The canister contains the main suction motor and the bag or filter, the powerhead contains the hose and the motorized brushroll motor. Both parts are easy to pull around the house because they ride on wheels. They can be heavy to carry and bulky to store and their cost is higher than uprights. Uprights are useful for carpet mostly and are not good for under the furniture. They are easy to carry and store than canisters. They are also easy and practical to handle, especially when using upholstery tools. Their cost is less than canisters.

Cordless vacuums are best for small jobs. Better for bare floors than carpets because their motors are low power.

Central vacuums are the most effective and most clean. The central vacuum is usually located in the garage. Suction ducts are internally located in between walls and vacuum receptacles are installed in desired places. A power nozzle similar to the canister type is used to vacuum. The central vac filters are not changed frequently because they can hold large quantities of dirt. Central vacs have 30 or 50 ft. hoses can be bulky to carry and store. There is no place in the power nozzle to carry or store upholstery tools while you vacuum but they provide a clean-safe environment and their cost is superior to canisters and uprights and require professional installation.

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