People having pets often have issues with pet hair removal and cleaning of larger areas with different surfaces like hardwood, carpets, tiles and similar. Also, cleaning of furniture, upholstery and many other hard-to-reach places is very important in keeping the home - clean.
Problem is this: pet hair and other dirt must be removed from the cleaned surface, regardless of the surface type, pet or dirt, dirt must be stored locally in a dirt bin/bag before being easily disposed, exhaust air must be thoroughly filtered, vacuum cleaner must have enough autonomy to clean required area, cleaning attachments must be swapped easily and enable one to clean furniture, stairs, upholstery, corners etc.
Pet Hair Remover Brush
Pet hair remover brush is a type of cleaning attachment that removes pet hair and other debris off the floor, regardless of the floor type, length or pet (or human) hair and hair characteristics (soft, stiff, long, short, thick, thin etc.).
Motorized brush must operate properly on hardwood floors, carpets, tiles and other surfaces and in combination with air suction must lift and remove hairs and other debris. Also, its design must prevent hair from clogging and reducing cleaning efficiency of brush itself and vacuum cleaner as a system.
Cleaning brush is usually powered by separate motor or by small wind turbine, although upright vacuum cleaners can have brush powered by main motor.
Design of such brush must prevent causing damage to the hard floors (mostly various types of wood) and tiles - brush must be made out of rubber (or similar materials - but rubber is preferred for various reasons) soft enough to be gentle to the wooden floors and strong enough to be able to pull away hair from thick carpets.
On/off button of such power brush tool is usually easily reachable, enabling vacuum cleaner to be used on various surfaces without removing brush from the cleaning head - this is very important for strong brushes that are not suitable for hardwood floors. Vacuum cleaners with strong brushes that must be turned off over hardwood floors, usually have rubber stripe/padding of the cleaning head - such rubber stripe increases vacuum over cleaned area and thus improves cleaning.
Suction Nozzle Width
Width of suction nozzle determines cleaning width of single sweep. On very dirty surfaces several sweeps are required in order to clean the surface thoroughly and combined with nozzle width determine required time for cleaning certain area. Note that wider nozzle requires stronger motor and more power in general, however, energy requirements stay more or less the same. Of course, stronger vacuums with wide nozzles cost more.
Dirt can be stored locally in a dirt bag (disposable or reusable) or in a dirt bin.
When disposable dirt bag is full, one throw it away and replace it with a new one, while reusable dirt bag must be cleaned and that can be rather messy. However, reusable dirt bags usually offer higher level of exhaust filtration than disposable dirt bags.
Dirt bins are often found in vacuums using cyclonic particle separation and offer one main advantage over dirt bags - when full or almost full, dirt bins in combination with cyclonic separation don't lead to performance degradation, while full or almost full dirt bags reduce vacuums suction power.
Filtration of exhaust air is very important, since amount of air passing through the vacuums is rather large. Pets exiting and entering the house can carry in large amounts of both visible and invisible dirt that range in size significantly.
Combination of mechanical, HEPA and charcoal exhaust filters provide high level of air filtration, suitable even for people prone to allergies, asthma and other similar problems.
To keep filtration on required levels, filters must be cleaned and replaced as recommended. Note that not all filters are washable, so it is important to read the manuals that came with your vacuum.
UV lamp and additional scent can increase the feeling of freshness in cleaned area.
Corded Or Cordless Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner
Due to the required cord, corded vacuum cleaners lack freedom that cordless vacuums have. However, corded vacuum cleaners are usually much stronger, have larger air flow, pressure difference (suction!) is larger, dirt bins or bags are larger and time of operation is practically limitless. Cordless vacuums can operate without cord, can easily be carried from room to room without the need to plug out/plug in the cord, but their operating time is limited by battery capacity. Most modern high-end cordless vacuum cleaners operate using lithium ion batteries that provide high capacity at acceptable price and operating time anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes without losing power.
Cordless vacuum cleaners usually have spare batteries that are easily swapped. Also, such cleaners are usually kept in their chargers, ready to be used at the moment notice.
Vacuum Cleaner Attachments
Cleaning tools, other than rotating brush, that are required by pet hair vacuums include tools like crevice head tool suitable for cleaning narrow and tight spaces.
Upholstery brushes are similar to carpet brushes, just are somewhat softer and more gentle.
Other tools that often come with vacuums can be of great help, depending on cleaning area and type of surface, however, most important part of pet hair vacuums is well designed rotating brush and good suction.
High-end vacuums often have options for shampoo and/or steam cleaning. Such cleaning should be done after mechanical cleaning and provide additional level of cleaning the required surfaces.
Note: before shampoo and steam cleaning, verify that your surfaces can tolerate such cleaning without being damaged.
Long story short - choosing right vacuum cleaner for pet hair should be done carefully, however, most modern vacuum cleaners have options for motorized rotating brush and other, similar tools suitable for cleaning hairs and other hard-to-remove debris.
Our vacuum cleaner reviews and recommendations contain number of vacuum cleaners suitable for cleaning dirt like pet hair.