(858) 487-1077 || (619) 281-2255
(760) 436-0334
(858) 487-1077   ||   (619) 281-2255   ||   (760) 436-0334

What are my vacuum cleaner’s attachments and settings for?

Vacuuming not only keeps your carpet looking nice and feeling soft but vacuuming often also keeps your carpet and air clean and fresh. That’s right, a task as simple as vacuuming your carpets can do wonders for the health of your home and family. That being said, we’ve all spent time wondering why our vacuums came with so many attachments and settings. Even more than that we’ve all wanted to know the exact purpose of each of those settings and attachments. Well, who better to answer your vacuuming questions for you than professional carpet cleaners? Keep reading to find answers to common vacuuming queries from your friends at Great American Chem-Dry.

Common Vacuum Cleaner Attachments


radiator brush attachmentRadiator Brush – The ideal use for this attachment is vacuuming radiators and vents.


crevice tool attachmentCrevice Tool – Have you ever struggled to reach the tight corners and crevices in your home? Then give his thin, long attachment a try. It’s great for those narrow areas.


upholstery nozzleUpholstery Nozzle – Just as the name suggests, this tool is designed for vacuuming upholstered furniture, drapes, and mattresses. 


all purpose brushAll-Purpose Brush – Great for cleaning flat surfaces such as shelves.



dusting burshDusting Brush – This comes in handy for vacuuming more fragile surfaces that require a more gentle touch. 


Understanding Your Settings

In order to be effective, a vacuum must make contact with the surface it’s trying to clean. The problem is that many of your home’s surfaces are different heights. That is where the settings come in. Most vacuums have a knob close to the front of the base that will adjust pile height (AKA height of the surface you are vacuuming). With this setting you can make sure that your vacuum makes contact with the carpet but still allows for the proper amount of airflow. So when should you change these settings?

Low Pile Setting: For flat, commercial carpeting. The vacuum will have good floor contact as well as airflow for suction.

High Pile Setting: For wool or wool blend, high pile, or soft carpeting. This setting will basically go over the top of the carpet, allowing for effective suction.

Bare Floor Setting: For floors without carpet. If you set the pile height too low, you will end up scratching your floors with the brush. If your vacuum doesn’t have this setting, don’t use it on the bare floors! 

When Should I Vacuum?

Kind of tricky but weekly at the bare minimum. You should try to vacuum the higher-traffic areas of your home every day and the medium-traffic areas twice a week though to maintain a healthier home. Frequency is one of the most important aspects of vacuuming. Also try using a vacuum that has a CRI Seal of Approval or a Green Label.

What is the Best Way to Vacuum?

Work smarter not harder by applying a top-down method when cleaning your home. Start by dusting the blinds, furniture, and other surfaces, to push the dust/dirt to the floor. Then vacuum it right off the floors. Be sure to push and pull the vacuum, back and forth, in a slow, overlapping pattern, moving to the side approximately every four strokes. Spend some time attacking those hard-to-reach areas like corners and edges next to baseboards.

Final Tips on Making Your Vacuum Last Longer 


  • Clean out all the hair, dust, etc. from the brushes. If the brushes are old and worn out, replace them. You won’t clean much if you’re vacuum is gross!


  • Keep the vacuum’s instructions.


  • Check the bottom of the vacuum frequently for bent metal or rough edges that might snag the carpet.


  • Move the vacuum by the handle, not the hose. 


  • As soon as your vacuum bag gets about ½ to ⅔ full, empty or replace it. 


  • Unclog the hose and adjustments.


Now you’re ready to start Vacuuming like a pro! This will preserve your carpets longer but all carpets will gather dirt, stains, and bacteria. When it comes time for a semi-annual carpet cleaning, look to Great American Chem-Dry! Our professional carpet cleaning helps eliminate bacteria and allergens from your home, keeping you and your family healthy and happy! 


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