Any professional carpet cleaner or carpet manufacturer will tell you, vacuuming your carpet regularly is the single most effective way to prolong the life of your carpet. Most of us know this, but we may not know what kind of vacuum to purchase. There are a ton of options out there. Some really expensive, others not so much. At Drycon, our standard advice has been to recommend buying whatever vacuum you are most likely to use! After all, what is the point of a $2,000 vacuum if it’s too bulky and awkward to get out of the closet and actually use.
Below is some great advice from a retired vacuum repair technician that is a frequent contributor to Reddit (u/touchmyfuckingcoffee). For a link to the full AMA on this topic check here:
Dollar for dollar, a bagged vacuum, when compared to a bagless, will almost always:
Perform better (Actual quality of cleaning).
Be in service for much longer.
Cost less to repair and maintain (Often including consumables).
Filter your air better.
Virtually every vacuum professional in the business chooses a bagged vacuum for their homes, because we know what quality is. Things you should do to maintain your vac, regularly:
Clear your brush roller/agitator of hair and fibers. Clear the bearing caps as well, if possible. (monthly)
Change your belts before they break. This is important to maintain proper tension against the agitator. (~ yearly for "stretch" belts)
Never use soap when washing any parts of your vacuum, including the outer bag, duct system, agitator, filters, etc. Soap attracts dirt, and is difficult to rinse away thoroughly.
Types of vacs:
Generally, canister vacs are quieter and more versatile than uprights are. They offer better filtration, long lifespans, and ease of use. They handle bare floors best, and work with rugs and carpets, as well.
Upright vacuums are used mostly for homes that are entirely carpeted. Many have very powerful motors, great accessories, and are available in a couple of different motor styles. Nothing cleans shag carpeting like the right upright.
Bagless vacs are available in a few different styles. They rely on filters and a variety of aerodynamic methods to separate the dirt from the air. In general, these machines do not clean or filter as well as bagged vacuums. They suffer from a loss of suction, and tend to clog repeatedly, if the filters are not cleaned or replaced often.
Bagged vacuums use a disposable bag to collect debris, which acts as your primary filter, before the air reaches the motor, and is replaced when you fill it. Because this first filter is changed, regularly, bagged vacuums tend to provide stronger, more consistent suction.
My last, best piece of advice is to approach a vacuum, like any appliance; Budget for the best one you can get. Buy one with idea you will maintain it, and use it for many years. And, for the love of Dog, do not buy from late-night infomercials or door-to-door salesmen! Stay out of the big-box stores, and visit your local professional who actually knows what they're talking about.