A reader asks: "What is your opinion on the benefits of a corded backpack versus a battery powered unit?"

Although battery powered backpack vacuums have come a long ways we still need to take into account the current realities of battery life, added weight to the unit and other factors. One of the primary benefits I have heard from users of battery powered backpack units is that not only are the able to get into areas such as stairwells without having to struggle with cumbersome cords but also that when used correctly, they radically reduce the need for dusting. That would be an obvious outcome when sweeping simply stirred up the dust and harms IAQ (indoor air quality).

Although heat is not the issue it once was, I highly recommend you test out each unit to determine the impact of wearing it over an extended period of time. Newer models either allow for more air circulation or have more insulation. Wearers should be cautioned to monitor the heat so that it does not affect their work.

A battery pack backpack is usually going to be heavier than a corded unit simply due to the extra weight of the battery. It is very important the harness fits correctly so that the weight is carried on the hips and does not cause any stress on the back or shoulders. There are some models that address the weight issue by having the battery, suction motor, etc. in a canister that is pulled about on wheels. This model may work for some applications but not stairwells.

Manufacturers will continue to refine back pack units, both battery and corded, so that in a few years today's models will be considered obsolete.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.