Ask the Expert (Cleaning Equipment)

Are battery-powered backpack vacuums worth the investment?

Cordless equipment is something of a holy grail to the cleaning industry. It is safer to clean without the potential tripping hazard of a cord, and the elimination of cord management tasks and outlet limitations considerably speeds up vacuuming. Some cordless units clean faster than a corded model or an upright. Many users calculate their labor savings and purchase it for that reason alone.

Cordless backpacks are still a relatively new technology, so early adopters do pay a premium price for a quality model. In order to determine whether that investment is worthwhile for your program, look at the proven benefits of cordless equipment and determine which are specifically relevant to your facility challenges.

For example, one university we talked to was losing time cleaning its library with corded backpack vacuums because their bookshelves were longer than a 50-foot extension cord could reach. They would need to unplug and plug in again just to clean a single row. With a cordless backpack vacuum, they significantly improved productivity for vacuuming the library, and they were able to apply the cordless backpack vacuum in other areas to maximize the return on investment.

Another university needed to do high cleaning of rafters and ductwork on a lift. They were not comfortable with the risk of hanging a cord off the lift and invested in a cordless backpack vacuum for that task. Once they had it, they discovered that other types of detail cleaning, like vacuuming along all the baseboards of a room at once, were more efficient with the cordless backpack.

Quiet cleaning, cleaning amidst building occupants, and cleaning areas with large square footage are other ways that we have seen clients justify the investment.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.

About the Author

Jacalyn High is director of Marketing for ProTeam Vacuums. She can be reached at 866/888-2168 or through

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