Mar 14, 2016

What You May Not Know About Choosing The Best Vacuum

Have you ever wondered whether one vacuum is better than another for the condition of your carpet? Or even if your vacuum could be damaging your carpet? I hadn't - not at all - until recently.

You see, our house has wall to wall carpeting in the living areas. At first, I didn't think we could afford to replace it before selling the house, but it turned out we could, thanks in part to a good deal from a local (i.e., not big box) flooring store. (Thank you, Lord!)

I always knew there was hardwood under the carpeting, but I expected it to be in bad shape. Imagine our surprise when we ripped out the old carpeting and discovered THIS:


Gorgeous, right? I took lots of photos because, frankly, we don't have the time to repair the floor where the carpet tacks were, plus a few little other areas that need some TLC. But if someone else wants that lovely floor, I can show them it's there, nicely protected by a new carpet pad and carpeting:


Anyway, once that new carpet was installed, my husband asked me to look into it's warranty. He'd heard that using a Dyson vacuum, like the one I have, nullifies carpet warranties. I'd never heard this, but I dutifully called the flooring company and asked about it. The lady I talked to said she'd heard this rumor, too, but didn't know if it was true. She dug up the carpet's written warranty, though, and gave it to me. And I read: "Vacuum regularly with a Carpet and Rug Institute of Approval vacuum cleaner." Hmmm....


So I Googled said Institute and found their list of approved vacuums. There was not one single Dyson listed. And, frankly, there were a lot of vacuum manufacturer names missing. I was seriously surprised.

Reading a bit further, I found the criteria for vacuums that end up on the Carpet and Rug Institute of Approval list:

  • The vacuum has to remove a certain number of dust particles; 
  • and "the vacuum should not affect the texture appearance of the carpet more than a one-step change based on one year of normal vacuum use."
The second standard is the one our local flooring company warned me about. "If your vacuum doesn't allow you to adequately adjust the height of the brush roller, it won't be on the list," the flooring lady told me.

My Dyson allows me only to raise the brush roller up completely (for non-carpeted floors); it does not allow me to otherwise adjust the height of the brush roller. That means it could be really harsh on carpet fibers, ultimately voiding carpet warranties and leading to a quicker carpet death. While I've always said I loved my Dyson for being great at picking stuff up, it turns out at least some of it's ability to "suck" was probably damaging our carpets.

So if you have carpet you want to last (and remain under warranty), be sure to check out the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval vacuum list. You might need to buy a new vacuum!


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