Commercial vacuum cleaners work in the same way as your domestic model – an electric motor powers a fan that sucks air, dirt and debris into the unit, where the dirt is trapped and clean air is pushed out again. The difference is that these commercial models are heavy-duty – they’re designed for larger spaces, higher volumes of dirt and tougher tasks, like sawdust, filings and other industrial detritus. Here’s our guide to what to look out for when purchasing a new commercial vacuum cleaner for your business.
The choice here, much like with domestic cleaners, is between bagged and bagless. There are pros and cons to both, so it is really a matter of personal choice. Bagged models will need a constant supply of bags – if you run out, you can’t use your vacuum. On the other hand, bagless models will need more maintenance in terms of cleaning and unblocking filters. If you or your cleaning staff are particularly vulnerable to dust allergies, bagless models might not be the way to go, as they tend to be a lot messier when emptying.
Bagless industrial vacuums might be more expensive in terms of up-front cost, but you need to factor in the price of replacing consumables over the working life of the device.
Whenever you use your vacuum cleaner, you are agitating a lot of dust and dirt particles. The kind of filter your vacuum cleaner uses will determine how much of this dust (and potential allergens) gets into the environment – look for a device with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate absorbing, and vacuums with this kind of filter will retain the most allergens and dust.
In most commercial environments, you will have a range of flooring types that you need to keep clean. Whether you have a carpeted office with a laminate floored kitchen, or a concrete floor in your warehouse with carpets in your offices/canteen – you need a vacuum that can deal with both. You should try to get a cleaner that can either be easily manually adjusted for different flooring types, or a premium model that can automatically sense the flooring type and adjust accordingly.
It’s not just the cleaner height that might need adjusting. If you are using a unit with a beater bar/ roller brush, you’ll need the function to turn this off. This is used for drawing the most dirt and dust out of carpeted surfaces – using it on hard flooring like laminate, vinyl, concrete or wood, will simply cause dust and dirt to be flung about into the environment and not directed into the cleaner itself.
Industrial sites, warehouses and factories don’t really need to worry too much about the sound that their vacuum cleaner makes. However, if you are cleaning an office during working hours you need to be aware of the people trying to work and so will need to check the decibel level of the cleaner before you buy it.
Type of vacuum
There are a number of different vacuum types available for commercial use – the best one for you will depend on what you are cleaning, the size of your site and the person doing the cleaning.
These are self-contained vacuum cleaners, most similar to the standard domestic model. Commercial variants will typically have longer power cords, longer running times and larger capacities.
These are more manoeuvrable than upright cleaners – the storage canister is connected to the cleaning part by way of a long, flexible hose. Great for cleaning stairs and around and behind equipment or furniture.
Fantastic for cleaning stairs, backpack vacuums are similar to canister models, in that they have a long flexible hose for the actual cleaning. The ‘canister’ here is worn by the user rather than being on wheels.
A good option for smaller areas or for negotiating your way around lots of furniture and static equipment. The user holds the canister in one hand and handles the hose/rod section with the other.
Wet/dry vacuums can comfortably and easily clean both dry and wet messes. Super versatile, and handy when you need to clean up the occasional water spill or doorway area that has become muddy or wet.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk