Bagless vacuum cleaners are high maintenance. It’s easy to dump out a cup of dust once in a while, but most people forget about or ignore the filter(s). Bagless vacuums may require the filter be washed and dried, shaken out, or brushed clean. Filters collect dust, amongst other thing. This is what they are there for. Failure to maintain the filter will cause it to clog, resulting in the reduction of air flow and/or suction. When a customer brings a bag-less vacuum to my store for repair, 90% of the time they complain that the vacuum doesn’t really pick up anything anymore or that it’s clogged. This is almost always because they didn’t properly maintain the vacuum cleaner. Some machines actually require you to physically change the filters every 3 to 6 months.
A vacuum cleaner bag acts as a filter inside of the machine. It doesn’t replace all of the filters, but it should minimize the dust and dirt that the other filters comes in contact with. Always make sure you are aware of the frequency that filters need to be changed and how much they cost when making a purchasing decision. The money you’re saving in vacuum bags is probably going to end up being spent on filters or repairs unless the vacuum cleaner is well maintained.
I also find that bagless vacuum cleaners are messy. Have you ever taken a dirt cup out of a bagless stick broom or vacuum and seen the dust billow above the cup. I can’t tell you how “caked” up the filters are inside my customers machines. I work on vacuum cleaners all day long, so I don’t find it to be a big inconvenience to take all the filters out of a vacuum and clean them out, but I don’t think I could say the same for the average person who has to vacuum once or twice a week.
The better vacuum cleaner brands or at least who I feel are the best vacuum cleaner brands don't make bagless vacuum cleaners. I’m referring to companies like Miele, Sebo and Simplicity to name a few. They haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. Years ago when Dyson blew up in popularity all of the vacuum companies that make cheaper quality vacuums started to introduce their own bagless models. A quality vacuum cleaner company know’s that it is a sacrifice in quality. Better companies focus on minimizing emissions from a vacuum and a bagless vacuum does not fit well with that scenario. With that being said some companies are following Dysons lead and have an almost totally bagless vacuum cleaner line. There are currently over 30 different dirt devil filters available. Dirt Devil is making bagless canisters, uprights, hand helds and stick vacuum cleaners.
As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of bagless vacuum cleaners at the moment. I keep a couple in my store for customers that may want them, but I never recommend them. As a vacuum store owner, the last thing I want is a disappointed customer. Most people don't take the time to learn what is required or recommended of them when it comes to vacuum, regardless of whether the vacuum cleaner utilizes a vacuum bag or a dirt cup. Vacuums that require vacuum bags seem to be more forgiving to a lack of maintenance than their bagless counterparts. I feel the maintenance a bagless vacuum requires to function at its optimum capacity is excessive.
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