The typical household has one or more vacuum cleaners to keep the various floors free from the dirt that can build up. For most homes these small electrical products are a necessity but they do come at a cost. This is especially evident for those people who are looking to conserve energy and be better stewards of this planet. The good news is there have been several key improvements to the technology that goes into building them. Also, most of the higher end brands put an emphasis on being as “Green” as possible. One example is Dyson who stresses efficient engineering and longevity in every machine they sell, from design to production to delivering them to the store shelves.
Since we know that most homes will have a vacuum it is important to put some thought into this purchase. Here are a few tips to help with buying a green vacuum cleaner.
Buy A Long Lasting Model
The less expensive brands that you find in the ‘big box’ stores typically have a life of 2 to 3 years. Unfortunately, they are designed to be used and thrown away when they start to lose their effectiveness. These vacuums are much cheaper in price but most people don’t realize that they actually spend more money over time by replacing these products every few years. It makes more sense for their wallet and the environment to spend more money upfront for a new vacuum cleaner that will last for decades. One such brand is Miele who designs their vacuums to last multiple decades. In fact, they put each model through the equivalent of 20 years of typical use just to make sure they will last. This is good because the fewer vacuum cleaners that make their way to the garbage dump the better. Here are reviews of the best vacuums for hardwood floors.
Adjustable Suction Power Can Save Energy
The earlier generations of vacuum cleaners only had two power options: on and off. When they were on they were operating at full power, pulling the peak amount of electricity for the entire time they were running. Today you can find many brands that have adjustable power settings to match the type of floor you are cleaning. You can set them to maximum power for thicker or high pile carpets where you need the suction to pull embedded dirt from the fibers. But for hard floors like tile, laminate, and hardwood you can dial the power way back. You don’t need much to pick up dust from these floors. The attachments typically don’t even have spinning brushes so they don’t need nearly as much power. Again, the more expensive brands are the ones that will likely have these options. So whether you are looking for a new upright or trying to find the best canister vacuum for your home, you will want adjustable suction settings if at all possible.
Bagless Means Less Waste
When buying a new vacuum there are typically two types to choose from: bagged or bagless. Bagged models have replacement bags that need to be installed to catch all of the debris that is picked up during use. They usually last for one or two sessions and when they are full they must be removed and thrown into the garbage. However, a bagless cleaner will not have these replacement bags but instead will have a collection chamber that can be emptied when full. Usually this is accomplished via a button as you hold the unit over a garbage can. This is much more “green” as you are not disposing of these bags that will ultimately end up at the local trash facility, taking many years to chemically break down into the surrounding land. You can even take it a step further and find a vacuum with washable filters instead of ones you replace. Dyson puts lifetime washable HEPA filters on their vacuums, designing them to take minimal water to get clean. You simply rinse them and set them out to dry overnight.
Hopefully you now have a few things to think about when you decide to buy a new vacuum cleaner. The EPA also has several tips that are easy to implement but can really make a difference over time. As more and more people make these small changes, the impact will become great over time. And for future generations these small changes will become a way of life and something they will always do without giving them a second thought.