Even with an influx of new technologies and designs, the upright vacuum remains the most recognizable and most popular vacuum type. However, not all uprights are the same. There are two factors users must consider when choosing a machine.

The first distinction is the number of motors on the machine. A single motor upright vacuum is used mainly in small areas that need to be cleaned quickly, such as hotel rooms or small offices. The low weight of the machine allows users to clean at a quick pace without putting much strain on the user. The lighter vacuum is also easier to load onto cleaning carts or transport from one area to the next.

Dual motor uprights are used in places that require a more thorough cleaning, including lobbies, schools and high-traffic facilities. These vacuums are able to extract more dirt from the carpet while grooming it at the same time. However, these models are heavier than their single-motor counterparts.

The other distinction is how the vacuum is emptied. Bagless vacuums with dirt cups allow users to see when the vacuum is full. However, when the cup gets emptied, dust can be released back into the air. Bags, or high-filtration bags, are better suited for facilities with indoor air quality requirements because dust is sealed inside the bag and doesn’t escape during bag replacement.

Regardless of which upright models building service contractors purchase, it is important to use them properly to avoid common injuries, including carpel tunnel syndrome and strains to wrists, rotator cuffs, lower backs, biceps, shoulders and elbows.

Users should stand up straight and place themselves directly behind the vacuum and use their body as a counterweight when thrusting the vacuum forward and pulling it back. Users should also repeatedly switch hands.

Excerpted from the April 2008 issue of Sanitary Maintenance and the May 2008 issue of Contracting Profits.

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