Be a Wise Vacuum Cleaner Purchaser
When it comes to investing in a vacuum cleaner, most of us want to make a
wise purchasing decision. Ideally the vacuum cleaner will be effective and
efficient, reducing the time and effort required to do our periodic
cleaning. Additionally, like any investment, we want it to be dependable,
serving us with very little maintenance for many years to come. Making this
type of decision involves much more than simply going to your local store,
reading the lists of features on the price tags and picking one which is
attractive and appears to be what you want. Often this type of decision is
affected by influences as trivial as the TV or magazine advertisements which
reached you recently or the color and style of a particular vacuum cleaner
which catches your attention.
||A Better Way to Make a Wise Purchasing Decision
For over forty years the people of south-central Pennsylvania have
benefitted from a much better way of purchasing a vacuum cleaner. They have
been making informed decisions based on what they've learned from the sales
staff at Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service, Inc. and by examining and trying
various models in their stores.
Now, with the advent of the World Wide Web, you can visit the various pages
of our site and learn the multifaceted aspects of vacuum cleaners including
the factors which determine their effectiveness, efficiency and durability.
Whether you are interested in purchasing a vacuum cleaner or just seeking to
learn more about them, you should find this site informative and helpful. By
working through the following questions and suggestions, you will be better
equipped to choose the vacuum cleaner which is best for you and your
particular cleaning needs.
||Consider the Surfaces and Areas to be Cleaned
Look around your home or area to be cleaned, paying close attention to the
variety of surfaces which need to be cleaned. These may include carpeted
and non-carpeted floors, upholstered and wooden furniture, stairs, door
frames, window sills, venetian blinds, drapes, picture frames, ceiling fans
as well as small nooks and crannies. While looking around, don't overlook
the largest area in your home, the air which you and your family breath.
These all require cleaning to maintain a healthy home environment.
While complete periodic cleaning is required, keep in mind the more frequent
cleaning requirements of some areas like the kitchen and dining room floors.
Also there are those less frequent cleaning chores which sometimes involve
water pickup or cleaning soiled carpet fibers.
||Examine the Types which may Meet Your Needs
As you can see, there are a variety of different types of surfaces which
need to be cleaned. To add to the complexity, there are weekly cleaning
tasks, those special tasks which are done rather infrequently and also those
which require daily time and attention. Therefore the vacuum cleaner
industry has developed a variety of types of vacuum cleaners, some to do a
broad range of tasks as well as those which specialize in doing only one or
two tasks extremely well.
For more extensive details about of these various types of vacuum cleaners
and their features, benefits and uses, see the group of articles under the
heading of "Types of Vacuum Cleaners" on
our home page.
||Match Your Personal Cleaning Style and Preferences
Give some thought regarding how you go about your routine cleaning tasks.
You probably have some specific ways you approach each area to be cleaned.
Perhaps you even have other ways of cleaning some surfaces without the use
of a vacuum cleaner. Do you prefer using an upright
or a canister with
power nozzle (power team) to clean your
carpeted floors? Do you use a dry mop, broom or vacuum cleaner to clean your
wooden, vinyl or ceramic tile floors? What is your approach to cleaning those
hard to reach areas under your furniture, in small corners or around those
lofty cathedral ceilings? Are you given to detail or do you like to give
your cleaning tasks a quick "lick and a promise" and get on with life?
When selecting a vacuum cleaner that will assist you in your cleaning tasks,
you want to make sure that it meshes well with your cleaning style and
preferences. For more extensive details about this, see the group
of articles under the heading of "Types of Vacuum
Cleaners" on our home page.
||Confused about Vacuum Cleaner Terminology?
Is your head swimming as you try to decipher terms like
effectiveness per amp?
That is just a handful of terms which are being thrown around. Some are
meaningful while others communicate very little. Read over, or even print
our extensive glossary to help you wade
through all the clutter of vacuum cleaner terminology.
||Address Your Family's Sensitivities to Air Borne Particles
The current cutting edge in vacuum cleaner technology is in the area of
improving the filtration efficiencies of vacuum cleaners. Medical science
has advanced significantly in the areas of allergy detection and the effects
of air borne particles on our general health. The vacuum cleaner industry is
taking advantage of the development of advanced filtration media to provide
much higher quality exhausted air than was available just a few years ago.
This attention to improving the air quality in your home benefits everyone,
not just those who have special needs. Where there are special dust related
sensitivities, vacuum cleaners which have extremely high filtration
efficiencies that meet the HEPA specification are often very
helpful. Unfortunately, just adding a HEPA filter to an existing vacuum
cleaner design often does not produce a vacuum cleaner which meets the HEPA
specification for net filtration. Air and dust leakage before the HEPA
exhaust filter is a major problem on some machines. A number of companies
including Miele Appliances,
Electrolux Home Care Products North America
(formerly The Eureka Company)
have now incorporated ULPA
or HEPA filters into completely sealed systems so the net filtration
should meet the HEPA specification.
To learn more about filtration efficiencies and factors which affect the
net filtration of vacuum cleaners, read our articles about
Filtration Efficiency - HEPA, ULPA, etc.
and Efficiency of Paper Bags.
||Factors which Affect Cleaning Efficiency.
Everyone wants a cleaner which will do a great job of cleaning with minimal
time and effort on the part of the user. So why not rush out and buy the one
with the highest amperage rating? Well, have you noticed that almost all
vacuum cleaners are now rated at twelve amps? Over the years, I've seem
amperage ratings climb from a mere 3.5 amps to a whopping 12.0 amps. Has
performance actually increased proportionally? Not really! There are many
factors which affect a cleaner's efficiency and resulting effectiveness.
Incidently, twelve amps is the maximum permitted for an appliance which is
plugged into a standard electrical outlet. If you see a rating higher than
that, it is probably one of Hoover's Efficiency
or Performance Rating.
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand and learn how to
identify various factors which affect vacuum cleaner performance. For more
extensive details about these factors, see the group of articles under the
heading of "Vacuum Cleaner Performance Aspects"
on our home page.
||Basic Construction Materials and Designs
By now quite a few people have learned that purchasing a vacuum cleaner
at the low end of the price range isn't a very good idea. At the same time
there are many who don't realize that the saying "You get what you pay
for." applies to vacuum cleaners as well. In an effort to produce
apparently powerful vacuum cleaners with many deluxe features to sell at
very low prices, many manufactures have overlooked many important design
principles and the use of durable construction materials. After all, these
aspects make little difference on how well the vacuum cleaners look on the
television promotions. Perhaps they are planning for the vacuum cleaner to
last only three to five years so you soon return to the store to purchase
another one. Be wise to this type of marketing and be careful to choose a
vacuum cleaner which is well designed and constructed with durable
materials. A vacuum cleaner is perhaps the hardest used and most abused
appliance in the home. It must be able to take hard use and still keep
For more extensive details about durable designs and construction materials,
see the group of articles under the heading of "Vacuum
Cleaner System Components" on our home page.
||Direct Questions to Knowledgeable Resources
Gaining a good understanding about vacuum cleaners is very important in
making a wise purchasing decision. Because of the many aspects to consider,
it is often helpful to talk directly to a knowledgeable salesperson or
technician at a vacuum cleaner specialty store (vac shop) like those at
Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service. You can talk to our knowledgeable staff
in person by visiting one of our stores or by calling us
toll free at 800-413-2778. We also answer
questions submitted by
within a day or two although talking face to face or on the phone is
often more beneficial.
||Choose a Model Which Best Meets Your Needs
Once you've considered your cleaning needs, personal cleaning style and
preferences, addressed special needs and attained a reasonably good
understanding of vacuum cleaner performance, design and construction
aspects, you are ready to start looking at specific makes and models. The
page titled "Ristenbatt Vacuum's Preferred Models"
lists popular models arranged in the order of our
preference within each vacuum cleaner category. You will find information
on many more models on our site by following links from
Brands for Featured Models.
Rather than giving just a few features about each model, we've
attempted to give a more detailed description of each model's features and
benefits. These pages can be helpful in deciding which model best meets
your cleaning needs. Better yet, personally visit a store where you can
try various models and talk to a knowledgeable salesperson or technician.
Our stores in Lancaster and Manheim, Pennsylvania each display over 75
different models of new vacuum cleaners just waiting to be tried and
purchased. They like their home in our stores but are looking for better
homes where they will be loved and appreciated even more.
||Purchase from a Reputable Retail Store
Ask among your friends and coworkers to determine which stores in your
area have a good reputation and which ones don't. I wish that I could
simply recommend that you make your purchase from your local vacuum
cleaner specialty store (vac shop) but I find that, while there are many
good ones around, there are also some which are operated by people looking
to make a fast buck. If possible, purchase from a business which has a
reputation for doing reliable repairs at reasonable prices since even the
best vacuum cleaners need minor repairs and maintenance on occasion.
Be sure to select a store which is an Authorized Dealer for the specific
brand you are purchasing. Purchasing a vacuum cleaner which was obtained
"under the table" by the store can create problems should warranty repairs
become necessary. Even after the warranty period expires, the much better
rapport which the dealer has with the manufacturer can go a long way. We
know this from experience since we are an Authorized Dealer for all brands
of new cleaners which we sell.
When the founder of Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service, Sherwood E.
Ristenbatt, decided to start his vacuum cleaner business, he decided that he
would create an attractive, well lit, neatly arranged store where customers
could comfortably examine and try various vacuum cleaners before making a
purchase. He also determined that his business would be operated by biblical
principles as he lived out his faith. When the business was founded, and
even to this day, these characteristics are quite a contrast to what the
typical vac shop portrays.
For those wishing to purchase a vacuum cleaner from us, we provide
free shipping for cleaners priced over
$100 when shipped via UPS Ground to anywhere in the contiguous U.S.A.
Less expensive cleaners, other shipping methods and other destinations can
be handled as well for additional costs. Cleaners and parts orders can
be placed by calling us toll free at 800-413-2778 or by FAXing a signed
order to 717-665-3263 and charging the purchase to any major credit card
account which matches the shipping name and address.
||Periodic Maintenance to Improve Performance
Even the most durable vacuum cleaners require some periodic maintenance to
keep them performing well. Of course, disposable paper bags need to be
changed routinely. Various additional filters need to be changed from time
to time in order to keep air flowing freely through them. Many vacuum
cleaners with motor driven revolving brushes have rubber belts which stretch
and slip more as time passes. They should be changed at least once a year to
assure good power transfer to the brush roll. Bristles, especially on
revolving brush rolls, wear short or become soft with use and need to be
replaced about every five years or so. Changing the bags, filters, belts and
bristles as needed will go a long way in keeping your vacuum cleaner
performing like new for many years.
Generic drugs are closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to
assure that a very high standard is maintained. In the vacuum cleaner
industry there are numerous generic bags, filters, belts and brushes
available but there are no high standards to which they must adhere. While
some generic vacuum cleaner supplies are of good quality, many fall far
short when it comes to performance and durability. There are huge variances
in the construction of filter media used in making disposable paper bags and
filters as well as rubber used in making belts.
Beware of dealers which sell or give poorer quality generic paper bags
and supplies with your new vacuum cleaner purchase. While these often will
reduce the performance of your cleaner, use of them can also void the
manufacturer's warranties. These generic supplies often have names like
DVC Micro-Lined, Dust Vacuum Corp (DVC), Vacuum Cleaner Bag Corp (VCB)
and 3M Filtrete Bags.
To obtain the best performance with the least problems, use supplies
make by the manufacturer of your vacuum cleaner. These are often marked
with the manufacturer's logo and typically contain phrases like "Genuine
Hoover" or "Genuine Eureka Product". Sorry, but deceptive phrases like
"Genuine Filter Media" and "To Fit Hoover" are not good signs of quality
and performance. The performance of various vacuum cleaner bags is
described in our article on the Efficiency of Paper
||A Few Additional Comments
We, the staff at Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service, hope that you will
find the information on our web site both interesting and beneficial in
making a wise vacuum cleaner purchase. A large number of people have
already expressed their appreciation for our helpful information and many
have gone on to purchase directly from us. To all we wish to say a heart
felt "Thank you."