Queensland carpets under the microscope

Queensland carpets have come under the microscope, with a new Canstar Blue survey finding households in the state spend less on vacuum cleaners than those in any other part of the country.

It found Queenslanders are spending $30 less than the national average when they buy a new vacuum cleaner and a whopping $54 less than the biggest spenders, South Australians.

“When it comes to vacuum cleaners, it’s usually the case that you get what you pay for in terms of their quality and effectiveness,” said Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle. “It can be tempting to buy a cheap model to save a few bucks, but a lot of people who do this end up frustrated and regretting that decision.

“Owning a good vacuum cleaner is useful if you want to maintain a clean and tidy home, but it can also be very important from a health perspective, particularly if your household includes pets, or people with allergies or respiratory issues.

“Spending a lot of money on a vacuum cleaner doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting a superior appliance, but it’s probably a good sign. The trick, if you can, is to get a good deal on a good vacuum cleaner.”

The dangers of dirty carpets

Carpets are all about comfort and warmth, but you might not realise the potential dangers lurking under your feet. They might look harmless on the surface, but your carpet could be hiding all manner of microbes and irritants that can cause or exacerbate illnesses. Here are some of the health issues related to dirty carpets.

  • Respiratory issues: Dirty carpets can be the perfect habitat for tiny organisms such as dust mites, volatile compounds and moulds which multiply rapidly. Think of human skin, pet hair and general dirt as their food. When these organisms are disturbed, they can be inhaled. That’s bad news for anyone, but especially those with asthma or other breathing problems.
  • Skin irritation: A filthy carpet will hoard living and non-living skin irritants that can cause itching or even swelling. Unfortunately common household pests like cockroaches are attracted to the fibres in your dirty carpet, bringing with them harmful germs of their own. Fungi found in dirty carpets can exploit cuts, scratches and breaks in your skin, leading to chronic itching later on.
  • Allergies: People with pre-existing allergies can be particularly prone to allergic reactions when they come into contract with a dirty carpet and its accumulated contents. Dust, pet hairs, fungi and tiny insects are often the culprits of itching skin, sneezing and other unpleasant allergy symptoms.

Vacuum cleaner spending

The Canstar Blue survey, of 1,600 adults who have bought a new vacuum cleaner in the last three years, found the average spend nationwide to be $343. In Queensland the average dropped to $313, with South Australians splashing out $367.

Average spend on vacuum cleaners $343 $313 $344 $348 $357 $367

Source: Canstar Blue survey of 1,605 adults, March 2016.

Across the country, 24% of respondents said they are disappointed with the performance of their new vacuum cleaner. Nowhere are consumers more disappointed than Victoria (27%), followed by NSW (25%), Queensland (20%) and South Australia and Western Australia (19%).

Victorians are also the most likely to wish they had spent more on a better vacuum cleaner (24%), followed by consumers in NSW (22%), Queensland (21%), South Australia (19%) and Western Australia (16%).

“Vacuuming isn’t the most enjoyable of household chores at the best of times, so dragging around a big, noisy lump of a vacuum cleaner, that just isn’t up to the job, is going to leave you incredibly frustrated,” added Mrs Doyle. “Consumers want a vacuum cleaner that is easy to use and represents good value for money, but above all else it needs to be effective at cleaning.

“That’s why it’s a good idea to find out what other consumers think of the vacuum cleaners they own, to help you make an informed decision before spending hundreds of dollars.”

Vacuum cleaner ratings

Respondents to the Canstar Blue survey were asked to rate the vacuum cleaner they most recently purchased across a number of variables, relating to its ease of use, ease of storage, quietness, effectiveness and value for money.

Eleven big name brands featured in the results, but only Shark received the all-important five-star ratings for effectiveness and overall customer satisfaction. Along with Bosch and Dyson, Shark also scored top marks for ease of use.

Bosch also rated highly in terms of quietness, while Dyson scored five stars for ease of storage and Piranha was deemed to offer good value for money.

“Shark and Dyson have dominated our customer ratings for vacuum cleaners since we launched the category in 2011,” said Mrs Doyle. “Dyson has topped the table three times and this is now the second time Shark that has come out on top. This is clearly no fluke and gives consumers a strong message about the brands that are rated highest in Australia.”

Vacuum cleaners reviews and ratings

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