backpack vacuum

How to Properly Use a Backpack Vacuum

Looking for a professional cleaner for your home? Strap on your backpack vacuum and look in the mirror.

Often cited as a professional cleaner’s best friend, this type of vacuum has become a critical part of any large-scale cleaning project. Not only is it versatile, it’s proven to increase productivity and reduce time on the job.

Sound intense? These vacuums don’t require more practice than a traditional upright vacuum cleaner, but dozens of everyday people have testified to its value for personal use at home.

Why use a backpack vacuum?

According to the pros, these vacuums eliminate much of the physical labor that goes into large-scale cleaning projects–especially when tremendous square footage is involved.

That’s because unlike canister and upright vacuum cleaners, these vacuums don’t encounter any friction or resistance with floors. The body of the vacuum clings to yours, relieving users from any pushing down, lifting up, and dragging.

If your upright at home gives you trouble in these areas, imagine using it to vacuum a carpeted dining hall.

The most important advantage of this type of vacuum is its benefits to the health of you, your family, your client, and guests. According to CleanLink, upright vacuums stir up dirt and allergens, releasing them back into the indoor environment; the HEPA filter in a backpack vacuum captures 99.97 percent of these contaminants.

5 Steps for Proper Use of Your Backpack Vacuum

Now that we’ve considered the long-term benefits to both your business and your home, let’s review our five essential steps to acquiring, equipping, and using one effectively.

Select the backpack vacuum that’s right for the job

The first step to choosing the right vacuum isn’t in a store–it’s on the job site, or your living room floor. Consider what started you on this search and go from there.

Identify your needs

These vacuums come in multiple weights and sizes with dozens of different features, each of which is best applied to different surfaces and environments.

A heavier, powerful vacuum, for example, can be applied to any part of the home–attics, basements, hardwood floors, and tough-to-clean carpets. a light-weight, maneuverable model is effective in an airplane cabin, for example, where there is limited space and very short carpet.

Despite this, most of these vacuums are a manageable 10 pounds or less.

Consider additional features like filtration, sound level, and ergonomic design for comfort and the space you wish to clean so you’re educated when you decide on the model you want. Keep your specifications handy when you begin to shop, or consult some online reviews to learn more.

Select the right product

If you’re scratching your head wondering where to find a backpack vacuum, you’re not alone. Those of us who spent most of our lives using upright or canister vacuums at home don’t see many of these vacuums in retail stores.

An important piece of advice: choose a vacuum with a cord long enough to accommodate your needs. You should avoid using extension cords for these products.

Some of the best retailers are online. We recommend contacting a professional for a free and friendly consultation to ensure you have the best possible product to fit your needs.

Assemble the device exactly as instructed

These vacuums are more advanced than a typical home appliance, so assembling it requires some precision and finesse. Fortunately, most come with manufacturer’s instructions that are as easy to follow as most other home appliances.

Here are some specifics to keep in mind when assembling your vacuum:

  • Ensure there is no damage to the cord or any other electrical features that could cause risk
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, keeping specific safety tips for this powerful piece of machinery in mind
  • Ensure you can carry the vacuum comfortably by adjusting its hose, intake, and shoulder straps
  • Adhere to proper lifting instructions to avoid injury

Wear the device properly and put your well-being first

There’s always a sense of risk when strapping machinery to your back. However, once you’ve adjusted to the unique aspects of your vacuum, safety precautions and cleaning best practices will become second nature.

Follow these simple tips to increase safety and improve performance:

  • Maintain a natural posture. To avoid discomfort or injury, wear the straps snugly and let the machine (not your back) do the work
  • Ensure proper suction and filtration. Check all connections, and empty the dust bag when it reaches half capacity
  • Use your attachments correctly. Your tools require specific methods for application, and they will speed up any job
  • Know how to immediately shut it off. Whether for safety concerns or to protect your child’s Legos, be prepared to turn off the device at a moment’s notice

Turn it on, operate it, and get the job done

Remember those great features you picked out specifically? Enjoy the satisfaction as you put them to good use.

Every backpack vacuum will have its own advantages and special tools. However, some features are more universal than others. Here are some suggestions for key problem areas:

  • Heavy carpet. use your backpack vacuum to achieve deep cleaning with minimal effort, outperforming upright vacuums
  • Hardwood floors. These vacuums typically come with special brushes for cleaning hard surfaces easily
  • Crowded spaces. In cluttered K – 12 classrooms, these vacuums are 70 percent more productive than uprights and remove 40 percent more dirt
  • Large rooms. According to the ISAA, “a backpack vacuum can cover as much as five times the square feet of an upright in the same period of time”

Use best practices for cleaning and storage

Now that the job is done, do a favor for your future self with proper cleaning and storage. Your vacuum will come with clear instructions for this purpose, but here are some basic tips:

  • Empty your dust bag before storage
  • Clean your filter–weekly, with regular use
  • Check your cord for damage before unraveling
  • Store in a cool, dry place

The Long-Term Value of Your Vacuum

Making the right decision now can pay off in years.

If you’re looking for more advice on operating or purchasing a backpack vacuum, visit our leading-product reviews in our Best Backpack Vacuum Cleaners 2017 Buyer’s Guide.

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