If you have ever used a broom and a dustpan, then you probably understand the struggle you have to put up with trying to get rid of the last streak of debris on the floor. No matter how hard you try to sweep it all up into the dustpan, there will always be that one last streak of dirt that prevails.
To get rid of it, you either use a wet mop or you sweep it out the door. Luckily, dust bins have become a thing of the past and have rightfully been replaced by electrical smart dust pans, otherwise referred to as stationary vacuum cleaners.
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How does a stationary vacuum cleaner work?
As its name suggests, the electrical dustpan works exactly like an upright vacuum cleaner without the movements. All you need to do is place it somewhere in a corner, preferably a place where you mostly use it for dust collection.
They are usually no larger than a small garbage bin, and you can easily find a place to fix it. Working with this device is as simple as just sweeping the floor and then directing the dirt towards the stationary vacuum cleaner.
It will finish up the cleaning for you by sucking up all the dirt and debris. It has dirt sensors and will automatically turn on as soon as the dirt is close enough for it to suck it all up, just like your ordinary vacuum cleaner. A stationary vacuum takes away the need for a dustpan, the inconveniences of having to bend during dirt collection and unnecessary accidents during transportation of debris to the garbage bin.
The stationary vacuum comes with either a bag or a container that has more capacity than a traditional dustpan, which takes away the inconvenience of having to make several trips to the garbage bin to dispose of the dirt. They are designed to work on all types of hard floors, such as wooden, marble and nylon flooring.
Types of Automatic Stationary Vacuum Cleaners
Stationary vacuum cleaners are categorized into two types: Touchless Stationary Vacuum Cleaners and Industrial Stationary Vacuum Cleaners.
Touchless Stationary Vacuum Cleaners
Touchless stationary vacuum cleaners offer cleaning at a small scale level and were originally developed for hair salons, but now they are being made for homes, boutiques, hospitals, offices and other commercial premises. They are usually small devices that are not as powerful as their industrial counterparts, but they still get the job done. These appliances are further divided into two: Free-standing and Built-in stationary vacuums.
Free-standing units are more common and you have probably seen them in a hair salon. They are designed to stand on their own in a corner and can be easily mistaken for a fancy trash can. They are portable and more convenient to work with, as they can be carried to any room.
On the other hand, Built-in vacuums are designed to be installed inside the kick plate of base cabinets. Most of the vacuum is usually out of sight with the exception of the frontal part, which takes the position of the kick plate. They are also manually activated by foot since they do not feature sensors and have to be pulled out when you want to dispose of/install the trash bag.
This article is a buying guide for both categories of Touchless stationary vacuum cleaners.
Industrial Stationary Vacuum Cleaners
Industrial stationary vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, are large and powerful, which enables them to get rid of the huge heaps of dirt. They are usually designed and customized to meet the specific needs of a company.
Factors to consider when buying the best stationary vacuum cleaner
Since the concept of a stationary vacuum cleaner is just starting to catch on in our lives, getting the right device may not be easy if you are not familiar with what to look for. Even though all stationary vacuums are an upgrade to the dustpans, you will need an appliance that takes away any reliance on the dustpan.
If you purchase a stationary vacuum cleaner but still find yourself using the dustpan once in a while to get rid of heavy debris, then you probably bought the wrong appliance.
Here are the factors you need to consider when buying the best stationary vacuum cleaner.
Size and Footprint
Stationary vacuum cleaners come in different shapes and sizes. You will have to factor in the size of the designated space, before deciding which device to buy. If you have more than enough space, then you can go for the Free-Standing types as they can easily fit anywhere due to their small sizes. They are usually the size of a small garbage bin, and you cannot miss a place to keep one.
If you are not willing to spare any more space for the device, you can always store it in a remote area and just fish it out when you are ready to clean. Alternatively, you can go for one of the built-in stationary vacuums if you are working with limited space. They are usually installed semi-permanently inside the floor cabinetry to preserve space.
Understand that stationary vacuums have only one main function and that is the collection of debris. Most of the sweeping and cleaning will be left out to you. This means that you need a device that is lightweight and easy to carry around to allow you to clean each room with ease.
A free-standing stationary vacuum is very convenient in this case, as you can whisk it away to whichever room you are cleaning and use it to collect all debris. Another factor you also need to consider is the length of the power cord.
A longer power cord will enable you to use the vacuum cleaner even in areas with no power source. Most vacuums come with 5 to 6 feet power cords, which is not much. However, you may use an extension cord, ensure that it has the same wattage or amps rating as the vacuum.
While a built-in model has its own perks, it lacks considerably in one area- flexibility. With a built-in unit, you will have to clean all areas of the house and direct all that heap to a centralized area where the vacuum cleaner is installed.
Unless you are willing to invest in many units throughout the house, sweeping all that dirt is just too much of a hassle and also time-consuming. You are better off working with a normal vacuum cleaner. Most people do not invest in them and the few who do, only reserve them for the kitchen and bathroom with a backup option of a normal vacuum cleaner for the other rooms.
Power and Performance
When it comes to performance, you want a stationary vacuum that is to get the job done. A simple way of knowing the power and performance of the device is by looking at its motor power measured in watts. The more the wattage, the more powerful is the motor.
Therefore, go for a unit with 1000 watts of power or more. Anything less than that will not be able to suck up large debris and hair. Aside from the power of the motor, you should also consider the suction system of the device. A vacuum that features cyclonic type of suction is more durable and effective, as it prevents fine debris from clogging the filters and also damaging the motor.
The power of the vacuum should depend entirely on your home needs. If you have a lot of traffic, children and pets, then you might want to invest in a powerful unit to get rid of the stubborn pet hairs and dander that come as a result of many movements and activities.
If you are by yourself, then a relatively powerful unit is not a bad choice. However, we would advise you to purchase a powerful unit from the onset to avoid upgrading in the future, which may set you back several hundred dollars.
Ease of Use
The stationary vacuum cleaner should come with the same level of simplicity like the dustpan, but minus the inconveniences. It should be easy to operate and use, even for a child without adult supervision. Stationary vacuum cleaners are either operated manually or automatically.
Automatic vacuums are the easiest to operate as they feature infrared sensors that automatically turn on the suction mode as soon as dust particles come within close range. The suction is also automatically shut off after several seconds, which takes away the need of switching it off after you are through.
Manual units are a bit harder to operate compared to the automatic ones, as they require your input to start or stop them. Most of them do not have sensors, instead, they either feature buttons or dials and some are even operated by a foot lever.
Manual units are therefore relatively cheaper than automatic units. If you are working on a tight budget and you don’t mind putting in the extra effort, then a manual unit is not a bad choice. Just ensure it is powerful enough and also features all the bells and whistles needed to have stress-free cleaning experience.
If you are willing to invest any amount to get the best device, then we would advise you to go for a hybrid vacuum cleaner that features both automatic and manual operation. This way, you can always have the backup option of buttons and dials when the automatic function fails.
Another important consideration is the filter system. Stationary vacuums come with either standard or HEPA filters. While standard filters can get rid of up to 95% of allergens, they are not as effective as HEPA filters which can trap up to 99.97% of allergens.
A HEPA filter is a must-have if you either suffer from allergies or own a fur-shedding pet. It is also worth considering the number of filters that a vacuum cleaner has. Generally, a dual filter system that features a pre-motor filter and a post-motor filter is more effective at trapping allergens than a single filter system.
In addition, you will have to choose between using disposable and reusable filters. With disposable filters, you will have to replace them frequently to keep the system working efficiently. Though the filters are not expensive in the long run, they may eat a large chunk of your money.
We advise you to go for a system with reusable filters, as they are designed to last a lifetime. You will only be required to wash them several times a year and they will be as good as new.
Bagged or Bagless
Like upright vacuum cleaners, stationary vacuum cleaners are also categorized as either bagged or bagless. Bagged units come with a bag that is used for debris collection. They are hygienic since they are manufactured from dust-proof material, which allows them to trap all the dust and particles completely.
Also, they do not make a mess during disposal since they can be closed tightly preventing allergens from getting back to the air. Bagged units are therefore recommended for you if you suffer from allergies.
Unfortunately, the bags are used only once and then thrown away. The fact that you cannot use cheap grocery bags with these vacuum cleaners means that you have no choice but to invest in expensive customized bags.
Cheaper alternatives are the bagless units that come with a canister instead of a bag. The canisters are reusable and only require to be washed. The only problem with canisters is that they are more likely to create a mess during disposal.
While some high-end models have closed canisters, removing the top cover may release dust and allergens into the air. Another factor to consider is the capacity of the bag or canister.
You require a bag/canister with a lot of capacity to prevent you from making too many trips to the garbage bin. The least capacity you should look out for is 3 liters, anything less than that is a no-no. Also, make sure it has a light signal that will alert you when the bag or canister is full and ready for disposal.
A light indicator that shows the status of the device is one feature that you should look out for. The indicator should signal you when the canister is full and needs to be emptied or when the filters need to be washed. You should also check the size of the inlet, as it will show you the type of debris the appliance can suck up. An inlet with a larger diameter is more reliable as it can suck up both small and large particulates.
A bigger opening also reduces the time required to clear the floor. Some manufacturers claim that their devices can even suck up bolts. To verify this claim, ensure there is sufficient motor power and also a larger inlet. Some bagged models also come with anti-bacterial bags that can fight off both nasty odors and bacteria.
Noise is another factor you need to consider if you love a bit of peace and tranquility in your home or if you own a pet. Although they are not as loud as upright vacuum cleaners, these appliances also make noise. However, the noise produced differs from one brand to another and some appliances are louder than others. Most upright vacuums produce around 70 to 90dB of noise. Therefore, anything slightly lower is not a bad choice.
However, unlike upright vacuum cleaners that make so much noise during the whole cleaning process, stationary vacuum cleaners only run for a few seconds and automatically turn off when the debris is cleared. This means that the discomfort caused by the noise is only felt for a short while, which is not life-threatening. If you can withstand the noisy upright vacuums, then working with a stationary vacuum will be a breeze. The noise should not be of much concern to you if the appliance satisfies all the other factors.
Durability and Maintenance
The durability of the appliance will be determined by the construction material. Plastic appliances may last longer if they are subjected to proper care. However, this may not be possible if you have kids and pets running around. It is therefore wise to purchase a metallic stationary vacuum cleaner as it is more resistant to breakages.
Also, put into consideration the color and finishes of the appliance to ensure that it matches your décor. Unfortunately, as of the time of this writing, there aren’t many colors or finishes available and you will have to make do with the three available options: black, white and silver finishes.
When it comes to maintenance, there is not much that is required from these appliances aside from emptying and washing the canister or disposing of/replacing garbage bags and washing/replacing the filter.
Stationary vacuum cleaners have revolutionized the way we collect and dispose of dust and debris. They are relatively cheap with the best models costing less than $200. This is a drop in the ocean if you factor in all the advantages that you are bound to enjoy if you own one.
To prevent back problems, we would recommend you invest in one. It is only a matter of time before everybody gets their hands on one. Good luck.
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Last update on 2021-01-19 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API