Without the right tools, removing pet hair from your home is nearly impossible – especially during shedding season. Unless your dog or cat is a light shedder, it won’t take long for your carpets, sofas, and car interiors to be covered in a thick layer of hair.
Luckily, the right vacuum cleaner can make coping with pet hair much easier. But before you rush out and buy one, it’s important to be aware that not all vacuums are suitable for cleaning pet hair. Here are six things to consider when buying a pet vacuum.
1. Corded vs. Cordless Pet Hair Vacuum
The first decision is whether to buy a cordless or corded vacuum. A few years ago this would have been an easy decision, but today the best cordless vacuums can rival corded models for suction power.
Despite being powerful and having a larger dust capacity, corded vacuums lack flexibility. They tend to be bulkier, and each room you intend to clean must have a plug. Using them can be frustrating, particularly when you keep tripping on the cord.
You might opt for corded vacuums if you have a bigger home and a storm of fur. Always check the cord length and determine whether it’s long enough to meet your needs.
Unlike corded vacuums, cordless cleaners operate using lithium-ion batteries. They function without a cord, making them easy to transport from room to room. While the top models generate strong suction power, cheaper models struggle to match the raw suction of corded models.
As long as you choose carefully, however, cordless vacuums for pet hair might be the best option if you need manoeuvrability when cleaning. They are also a great choice for spot cleaning.
2. Suction Nozzle Width
The suction nozzle determines the amount of space you can clean in a single sweep. Nozzles with wider width save time because you clean larger areas at a go. Yet, these nozzles are harder to manoeuvre in tight spaces.
Vacuums with narrow nozzles clean smaller sections in one sweep. You have to do several sweeps to clean wider areas, but they are easier to steer around furniture. Even so, this task becomes more arduous if the surface is filled with lots of pet fur and dirt.
The right choice depends on your home layout. In a small apartment, a thinner nozzle is probably the best option. For large areas of floor, look for a bigger floor head.
3. Efficient Filtration System
Pet fur attracts microscopic dirt, dander, and other particulates. When vacuuming hair, cleaners take in most of the dirty air. Filtration is vital before the release of this air.
If you have family members with conditions like asthma and allergy, you should get a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters. These filters trap the tiniest particles that might be present in pet fur.
A better alternative is going for vacuums with a combination of charcoal, HEPA, and foam filters. This filter combo guarantees maximum filtration of dirty air, while also absorbing common pet owners.
For exhaust filters to work efficiently, they need regular cleaning and maintenance. Some filters are washable, while others, replaceable.
4. Pet Fur Removal Brush
A key feature of any pet hair vacuum is a miniature turbo tool. These are smaller tools with a motorised brush bar, making them great for removing pet hair from upholstery, stairs, and cars.
One of the advantages of a cordless vacuum is that these turbo tools can often attach directly to the vacuum body. This converts the vacuum into a powerful handheld, which is useful for non-floor cleaning.
5. Bagged or Bagless?
A vital factor to consider when choosing a pet vacuum is how it handles hair and debris. You can opt for bagless or bagged vacuums, and there are advantages to both.
Bagless vacuums are easier to empty, as you just remove the dust bin and tip it into a bin. They also save money on buying replacement bags. Unfortunately, dust, dander, and other allergens can escape when emptying, which could be a bad thing if anyone in your home suffers from a pet allergy.
Bagged vacuums use a bag to trap hair and dirt, which also acts as a secondary filter. You only replace this bag once it becomes full, and typically the bags are much larger than a canister on a bagless vacuum. A downside is the cost you incur when replacing bags.
6. Suction Power
Vacuums don’t rely on suction alone to clean the floor, as many have rotating brush bars to agitate dust and hair from carpets. Even so, raw suction is an essential consideration when choosing a pet vacuum, as you need a lot of power to remove stubborn hair.
Don’t focus on the motor power when looking at vacuums, as this can be misleading. Instead, read reviews to find out which models perform best at the tricky task of removing pet hair.
Pet hair and dander don’t have to ruin your décor. With the right pet vacuum, you can easily clean up the mess your fluffy buddies create.
When choosing a pet vacuum, think carefully about whether you want a cordless or corded vacuum. You should also consider the filtration system, whether the vacuum comes with a pet tool, and the suction power it can generate.