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The Good, Better And Best Vacuums On The Market Today — A Buyer's Guide

September 19, 2010
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A vacuum is one of the most vital cleaning tools in a maintenance worker''s arsenal, with the ability to dramatically improve productivity, indoor air quality (IAQ) and overall cleanliness in one well-filtrated sweep. Selecting the right vacuum to suit your specific needs is never easy—considering the range of options on the market today. Understanding which types of models work best for your conditions will make purchasing the right vacuum simpler.

Numerous studies tout the real advantages—economically and ergonomically—of using backpack vacuums over traditional uprights. Studies show that, when combined with an effective cleaning program, quality backpacks can increase productivity by up to 70% without adding staff.

But what if using a backpack vacuum isn''t practical or preferable for your cleaning needs? Quality speed canister vacuums and dual-motor uprights can provide excellent filtration and a certifiably deep clean while saving you measurable time and money.

Good: When an Upright is the Right Choice

There are times when an upright vacuum will be the most practical vacuum for your cleaning needs. ProTeam®, The Vacuum Company recommends using a dual-motor upright cleaner for medium- to high-pile carpet. ProTeam''s ProForce® 1500XP is an ergonomic, versatile upright with a floating L-shaped powerhead and three-way power switch for cleaning different types of flooring. A dual-motor system maintains constant power flow to both the beater bar and the motor, and detail cleaning is sped up with easy-to-access on-board tools and a quick-release wand.

With a dual-motor upright like the ProForce 1500XP, time spent vacuuming a 10,000 sq. ft. facility can be reduced by 30 minutes over a single-motor upright—a cost savings of up to $1,056 a year. Like all ProTeam vacuums, the ProForce 1500XP comes with advanced Four Level® Filtration—a CRI-certified system that captures and removes 99.77% of indoor air pollutants one micron and larger. This deep level of filtration helps clean the air at the invisible level, improving IAQ by keeping pollutants from leaving the machine.

Better: A Backpack on Wheels

On low-pile carpet and all hard surfaces, a speed canister vacuum is the best choice when using a backpack isn''t practical. Studies show that using a speed canister like the ProTeam RunningVac® in a 10,000 sq. ft. facility will reduce the amount of time spent vacuuming from 3.5 to 1.5 hours when compared to a traditional single-motor upright. Making this switch can help a company save up to $4,224 a year in labor costs. Even in a smaller, 2,500 sq. ft. facility, you will see a cost savings of up to $1,074 a year.

The RunningVac speed canister provides exceptional cleaning strength unmatched by traditional canisters. Essentially a backpack on wheels, the RunningVac is the perfect lightweight solution for increasing productivity and mobility when a canister makes the most sense. This high performance machine gives you the power and speed to clean better and more productively than with a traditional upright. Made with the same durability and quality as ProTeam backpacks, the RunningVac is 133% faster than an upright, and only 30% slower than a backpack. With the filter capacity four times the size of standard uprights, the RunningVac provides maximum cleaning ability.

Best: Why a Backpack Vacuum is Hard to Beat

A study by ISSA Cleaning Times shows that quality backpack vacuums clean up to 10,000 sq. ft. per hour when using an effective team cleaning system, compared with tank canister vacuums which time in at 2,500 sq. ft. per hour, and single-motor upright vacuums which time in at 2,857 sq. ft. per hour. Using a backpack in a 10,000 sq. ft. facility cuts 2.5 hours off the time it would take to vacuum with a single-motor upright, and can save up to $5,280 a year in labor costs—and a whopping $52,800 a year in a 100,000 sq. ft. space.

The ease-of-use and ergonomic design of quality backpacks allow workers to vacuum more than twice the area in half the time. The ideal backpack also offers an easily accessible tool belt that allows crews to seamlessly clean all surfaces—even in those hard-to-reach areas—without causing user strain or misalignment.

The Super CoachVac® by ProTeam is the most powerful backpack on the market. This powerhouse can tackle the most demanding cleaning challenges and is ideal for large, high-traffic areas that require extreme power and suction. With advanced Four Level Filtration and a 10-quart filter capacity, the Super CoachVac increases productivity significantly while drastically improving IAQ and overall cleanliness.

A Practical Choice is a Wise Choice

The benefits of using a backpack vacuum for your cleaning needs are certainly hard to beat, but there are circumstances that call for a speed canister or dual-motor upright. Choose a vacuum with superior filtration, an ergonomic design and a three-year warranty on parts, motor and labor.

Hollis Welsh is a freelance writer in Boise, Idaho focusing on the cleaning and facilities maintenance industry.

ProTeam manufactures a complete line of 19 lightweight ergonomic vacuum cleaners designed for all cleaning challenges. To learn more, visit

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