One question I get asked all the time is “how do I test my vacuum for its authenticity?” have you been there before? Having bought your vacuum and ready for cleaning, but still not sure if you made the right choice.
In this article, I’d address this question in detail and give you actionable points to start with your canister vacuum cleaner.
Through my independent test of canister vacuum cleaners, I’ve uncovered certain metrics that make up a great canister vacuum cleaner, for example weak canister vacuum cleaners only pick up only 30% of the fine dust subjected to it, while a great canister vacuum cleaner would pick up to an impressive 90% of dust particles(debris of any size).
Although different vacuum cleaners are meant for different tasks; just as you’d not want to break open an upright to suck up spilled margarine than you’d employ a canister to rid your carpets and floor of fine dirt and dust particles. But for this post, I’d be focusing on mainly canister vacuum cleaners and how to test them
Surprisingly you’d need some few disposable materials to test the overall capacity of your canister vacuum cleaner.
• Super-fine dust (can be 0.35 ounces (~ 10 grams) of surface talc and 2.82 – 3.17 ounces (~ 80-90 grams) of sand)
• Dry rice
• Real hair
• Decibel meter for testing sound levels
• Wood flour
• Pressure gauge
• Laser spectrometer (only technicians can do this, visit your nearest technician)
• Small separate carpet
Listed above are the disposable materials you’d need to conduct the test on your canister vacuum cleaner.
By the end of the test, you would be able to have answers to the following questions below of any canister vacuum cleaner you buy.
• How well will it clean the fine dust on my carpets/floors and also large debris?
• How well can the vacuum keep dust and allergens trapped inside? Or if it can at all?
• Can it still maintain a good suction power while the canister or bag fills up?
• How quickly can it whisk up pet hair or any form of hair from your carpets?
• How easy can it be maneuvered?
You can test any phase, you necessarily don’t have to follow the order in which the steps are outlined, but following it would be better!
1. Test the ability to clean your carpet/floor:
To test if your canister vacuum cleaner would work well on carpets/floors you would need to test it with 2.82 ounces (~ 80 grams) of sand embedded inside your carpet and let the vacuum do its work by trying to lift the debris and dust particles. You can weigh the soiled area on your carpet and the vacuum to get a baseline measurement
Then, after much back and forth movement, (ensure the test is performed in a climate-controlled environment) then check the measurement as it sucks up the dirt, if it covers up to a distance of over 315 yards (~ 288m), then you can be assured it is a good one.
You should also conduct this test also on hardwood floors, flat laminate floors and also crevices. You can sprinkle a large amount of dry rice on floors, which represents large debris in your home, and then you’d measure and check how much it can suck up.
Some of the vacuum cleaners just open up the debris and scatter them around, rather than sucking it into the canister.
Note: a bad canister vacuum cleaner would pick up less than half of the dirt in your carpet/floor, where a great canister vacuum would pick up twice as much
2. Test the ability of the hose to whisk in dirt/debris regardless if the bag/canister is full or not:
A great canister vacuum cleaner is weak if the suction power diminishes when the dust bag/canister gets full.
To test this, you would rig up your hose to a pressure gauge, and measure the level of suction. You then would measure the suction power in three levels: with the dust bag/canister empty, with the dust bag/canister filled with 3.17 ounces (~ 90 grams) of wood flour, and finally with a total of 6.35 ounces (~ 180 grams) of wood-flour.
When testing each level measure the level of suction your canister vacuum cleaner maintained. Usually, canister vacuum cleaners that maintain the suction power in all three levels is the best buy for your money.
3. Test the ability of your canister vacuum (filter) to trap fine dust particles and allergens:
Some vacuum cleaners leak out fine dust particles after they suck up the dirt, this can aggravate symptoms for asthma and allergy sufferers.
To discover a model that properly keeps fine dust trapped inside, first you need to find an enclosed location in your warehouse for this phase; if you don’t have you use your balcony but ensure you close every opening. Then you fill your vacuum with 1.41 ounces (~ 40 grams) of wood flour, and then you run it with the brush on the floor in the enclosed location, you then use a laser spectrometer to measure if the particles were released (down to 0.1 micrometers) back into the air because of irregular movement of the brush.
Note: if this phase seems to be technical for you, try consulting a technician to help with this phase.
4. Test the ability of your canister vacuum cleaner to quickly pick up pet hair:
To test the ability of your vacuum to pick up dirt hair, you’d need 0.14 ounces (~4 grams) of long, feathery hair from your pet, and then match the hair deep into a separate carpet (can be low to the medium-pile carpet). After smashing the hair in the carpet, then you move the vacuum multiple times on the carpet and check how much of the hair it whisks up.
Note: Great vacuums pick up all the fur into the dust bag/canister. While average canister vacuums leave a considerable amount of fur in the carpet, or then you’d notice the hair tangled around the brush
5. Test the ability of your canister vacuum’s maneuverability:
One important thing to consider when testing is the maneuverability of your canister vacuum cleaner
This phase can be as easy as checking the features. There are two ways you can check the ease of handling: first, you can check how easy it is to push, pull, and carry along; secondly, check how easy it is to access the onboard features/tools of your canister vacuum cleaner.
Note: Do you know each vacuum is weighed also with its onboard features? YES!
6. Test the sound of the vacuum:
To test the sound of your canister vacuum cleaner, you can use a decibel meter.
To do this you set the vacuum to deep-clean at its maximum power setting, and then you measure the sound at ear level
Now you can ask any canister vacuum cleaner and not wait for to vacuum to answer you figuratively! You perform each test on the vacuum and then you’d find your answer literally
To find the total test score of a canister vacuum cleaner, each of the assessments would sum up to a total test score, which can be the percentage given to each of the testing phases. Although some assessments matter more than others, meaning some carry more weight than others:
• 75% cleaning, suction power, and filtration
• 20% maneuverability
• 5% energy and sound levels
To know if your canister vacuum cleaner can be termed “excellent” it’d have to score at least 72% when computed overall to be in a healthy state. If your vacuum cleaner scores 39% or less then you either change it if you have one or don’t buy such, if you’re planning to.
Do you have any questions regarding how to test your canister vacuum cleaner? Please let us know in the comments! If you enjoyed this post please share! Cheers!<Remember sharing is caring>