Vacuum cleaners

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It's arguably the most unpopular of household chores but if it's any consolation there are now lots of models of vacuum cleaners with whiz-bang features to make the job easier.

So which one is best for you?

There are uprights, new designs to go low, ones with bags, bag-less, hepa filters which will filter the air, and importantly how do they rate as suckers?

Trevor Bowden of Keith Bowden Electrical road tested several popular models for us.

"The dearer ones, much quieter, much more efficient and you're gonna get a longer life out of them. The cheaper ones are basically designed just to do a basic simple cleaning job with basic components. The dearer you go, the better the componentry, the better the motors and the better the bags," says Trevor.

In regards to allergies Trevor saysÂ… "If you've got kids in the family who are sensitive to dust I'd highly recommend the ones that have got the special filters for hepa and the anti-allergens. If you just want a cheapie vacuum cleaner to do a small job around the house like one or two rugs, then just go for a basic entry level model. If you've got a lot of vacuuming you want to do with hard floors and carpet floors, I'd recommend going for one of the dearer ones, it just comes down to whether you like bagged or bag-less."

Three of the models, the Volta bag-less, Electrolux Stick and Miele cat and dog turbo are under 500 dollars.

And four, the Electrolux bag and bag-less, the Dyson bag-less upright and Miele's bagged upright priced under 700 dollars.

We also tried out two rechargeable hand held units, an Electrolux costing under 100 dollars and Dyson's star wars looking turbo which sells for around 400 dollars.

Price certainly counts here says TrevorÂ… "Dyson, more advanced, batteries last longer and see the dust, easy to take apart, very convenient, handheld, filter very powerful."

Trevor has another tip, don't get too attached to your old machine.

"Around about six years is the nominal life of a vacuum cleaner before the motor starts getting to the point where it's not sucking as efficiently and if you took it along to your local repairer, he'd probably say it's no longer economical to repair," says Trevor.

So let's see how they performed... of those under 500 dollars, all had good suction but Trevor liked Miele's cat and dog turbo.

"This one has got cat and dog head, so allows fur to be picked up without clogging units and carbon activated filters into design of it," says Trevor.

As for those over 500 dollars...all produced excellent results on carpet and hard surfaces. Trevor says you can't go wrong with any of them although he likes the Dyson.

"You can see why this is one of the most popular on the market, designed to do hard surfaces which makes it a very good vacuum cleaner all round," says Trevor.

But the price and quality do count.

"As we demonstrated, the cheaper ones were still of a high wattage but they didn't have as good a suckage, sucking power whereas the dearer ones were of a similar sort of wattage but they had a much more efficient sucking so it comes down to the design of the motor and the design of the vacuum cleaner. Once again, you get what you pay for," concludes Trevor.

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