What is a Canister Vacuum Cleaner? 5 Clear Reasons to Get One

From homes, retail stores and school libraries to waiting rooms in hospitals and offices, nearly every establishment has some floor that needs vacuuming regularly. Therefore, a vacuum cleaner has become a part of almost every home and business we come across.

But larger vacuum cleaners may be too bulky for bigger spaces, while smaller vacuums compromise on power and capacity for convenience. So, how do you choose the best vacuum cleaner for your needs with so many different options available? Well, a canister vacuum cleaner can be your best choice. But what is a canister vacuum cleaner and why is it a better choice?

Canister vacuum cleaners are a tradeoff between the larger and bulkier upright model vacuums, and the smaller, more portable stick model vacuums. They are not only powerful like the upright vacuum cleaners, but also have a slender frame like the stick vacuum cleaners. Due of this, they are among the best type of vacuum cleaners on the market today.

The type of vacuum cleaner you choose will directly impact how efficiently you can clean your space. So always consider your cleaning requirements before you decide to buy any machine.

Canister Vacuum Cleaner Design and Working

The following are the most important parts of a canister vacuum cleaner.

  • the Canister (motor and filter),
  • the hose, and
  • the wand.

The canister body houses the motor and dust collection system connected by a hose to a floor nozzle. Its collection system can either be a bag or a dustbin.

The unit is fully equipped with a suction hose and retractile cord for easy maneuvering best for furniture and multi-surface use.

Some more expensive models have a separate unit of the motor and the receptacle. It attaches the separate canister to the long wand used to vacuum not only a carpeted space but also bare flooring. The additional cost is justified by better technology and multi-functional design which allows ease of maneuverability, flexibility, and versatility.

So, cleaning those hard-to-reach spots and awkward corners will not be a problem anymore. Canister vacuums are also good for hard surfaces, or smaller carpeted spaces like cars or stairs. They are lighter and have wheels, so they can cover lot of ground easily.

Canister Vacuums Parts and Functions

Let us get over some basic parts of a canister vacuum cleaner and their functions. This will help you understand how a canister vacuum cleaner works.

  • Intake port: This is where the dust and dirt get drawn into the vacuum unit. The intake port is at the end of the hose/ wand and goes wherever you want it.
  • Rotating brush: The brush chills inside the intake port with bristles set in a particular pattern that pushes dust and debris closer to the intake port.
  • Wand/ Hose: This is what connects the intake port and the rest of the vacuum cleaner. The two go together like a Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle Dum. A canister vacuum can have either a solid stick, a wand, or a flexible hose.
  • Motor: A motor causes the fan to spin, creating suction power.
  • Fan: The motor spins the fan to pull in air through the intake port, the hose, and forces it out the exhaust port.
  • Filter: The filters remove all the debris from the air into the bag before it passes through the exhaust port.
  • Collection bag: In a canister vacuum, the air travels through the bag before it hits the fan. The bag traps all the debris, letting the air out, leaving all the dirt in the bag.
  • Exhaust port: The port lets the clean air out of the vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters returns better air than ever.

Of course, the parts are not limited to the above. Some more expensive units have more going on. But the above is what you will find in the basic canister vacs. 

Types of Canister Vacuums

There are two main types of canister vacuums.

  • Wet-dry canister vacuums: A wet-dry canister vacuum cleans both wet spills (water or oily residue) and dry spills. High-end wet-dry canister vacuums with a large tank can clean flooded areas.
  • Dry canister vacuums: A dry canister vac cleans dust and dirt on soft and hard floors. A dry canister vacuum is quite versatile, with the ability to clean both soft and dry floors.

To Bag or Not to Bag

The canister vacuum cleaner bag is a filter that lets air pass through but traps-in dirt. The consensus to bag or not to bag is that your space will be clean either way, whichever vacuum you use.

However, a few minor differences will split your decision.

  1. Bag-less: A bag-less canister vacuum is for the environmentally conscious people not looking to deal with replacing bags. The unit has a see-through canister that lets you determine when to empty it.
  2. Bagged: A bagged canister vacuum cleaner minimizes dust exposure when you empty the bag. The bags guarantee to trap 99.97% of the dust and debris. It would be best if you replaced the bags regularly. It is the best cleaner for asthmatic people or people who are sensitive to allergens.  

Replacement bags are typically available in most retail stores.

Why Buy a Canister Vacuum?

We are not making it sound like an infomercial, are we? But the fact is, we are not exaggerating!

A canister vacuum cleans carpet and soft floors like a charm. You can save a lot of trouble by getting one for yourself. It is the best tool to clean your rug, inside of a car, or even your stairs.

Versatility gives these handy tools an upper hand in cleaning. It is designed for hard surfaces and carpeted areas. A canister vacuum is better than upright vacuums for ease of use. 

To help you visualize what is a canister vacuum cleaner, here is a breakdown of their most important uses and features.

A canister vacuum:

  • is best for small, carpeted areas, hard surfaces and stairs.
  • generates a powerful suction and cleaning power.
  • has flexible hose for hard-to-reach spots, corners, and stairs.
  • is available in two options, bagged and bag-less.
  • is not ideal to move around with all the attachments and electrical cord.

You can either bring what you want to clean to the vacuum, or move the canister as you clean, which is not that difficult. The process is like mopping and quite easy if the wand is waist high.

Before You Decide to Buy a Canister Vacuum Cleaner

The features mentioned above make canister vacuum cleaners a superb cleaning equipment for most surfaces. Nevertheless, you must determine if it suits the space where you intend to use it. Before you make the purchase, take the following into consideration.

Do You Have Extra Space to Store the Canister Vacuum?

A canister vacuum cleaner can be a challenge to store. Generally, it is about a foot deep/ wide, and over a foot and a half long.

If we factor in the wand and hose, the vacuum cleaner will need a large closet or a corner of utility space. The canister is big, and high-end models have several attachments that call for an impeccable organization during storage.

Using a Canister Vacuum Cleaner Can Get Somewhat Clumsy

Vacuuming multiple floors with a canister vacuum can be difficult and dangerous. You must carry the armful of vacuum parts up and down the stairs. As the cleaner collects and holds lots of dirt, the weight increases. It therefore loses the lightweight aspect.

Even worse, the cords can be a trip hazard.

Some Drawbacks of Canister Vacuums

Although canister vacuums have a lot of desirable features, keep in mind that no tool is perfect. There are a few downsides to using a canister vacuum. While not deal breakers, consider these few issues before you buy one.

  • It takes time to assemble: The assembly can be tedious depending on the model with many attachments or dismantle it when you stow it.
  • Storage can be fuss: The hose makes it tricky to stow, and the rest of the setup has the potential to get in the way.  However, you can dismantle it up for storage.
  • Might get in the way: While canister vacuum, the system is easy to move around, but at a price. You cannot always control where to vacuum as they make the unit roll behind you.  In the process, it can roll over the cables or bump into the furniture.

Regardless, a canister vacuum cleaner is a must-have tool, as the pros outweigh the cons. Moreover, the above cons are preventable problems with little planning or extra attention.

So, Are Canister Vacuums a Good Buy?

A canister vacuum cleaner will offer versatility, portability, and ease-of-use in your home.   The tool offers so much variation in its use. You might not get far from cleaning your car or mattress with other types of vacuums.

Canister vacs get it right and tackle all vacuuming jobs with ease, making them high-performing and built for productivity. While not all will suit your exact needs, you are assured of versatile, lightweight, easy to use, and offer high maneuverability. 

Canister Vacuum FAQ

Now that you know what a canister vacuum cleaner is, let us look at some common questions related to Canister Vacuums.

When Should I Change the Bag?

Experts recommended a change of vacuum bag once a month. For a large floor surface or vacuum heavily trafficked spaces with pets and kids, check it regularly.

When Should I Replace the Belt?

Check the belt regularly for any indications of wear or tear that can result. It would help if you replaced the motor belt every 6-12 months. This will keep the vacuum running efficiently by preventing excessive strain on the motor.

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