Dan Carr

By: Dan Carr on July 21st, 2020

Print/Save as PDF

How Much Does A Commercial Vacuum Cost: 9 Factors That Affect Price

If you’re asking the question, “How much does a commercial vacuum cost?” you’re probably getting ready to invest in a new vacuum. 

Commercial vacuums are a critical component of your floor maintenance program, and selecting the right vacuum(s) for your facility can positively impact your cleaning results, worker productivity, labor costs, and your bottom line.  

The five primary types of commercial vacuums are handheld duster, canister, upright, backpack, and wet/dry. The best choice for your cleaning operation will be the model that will allow your staff to be most productive. In some cases, you may even need more than one type of vacuum depending on the areas within your facility and if your budget allows it.  

The cost of a commercial vacuum can range from $125.00 to $3,400.00. The price will be affected by several different factors.

So, in this article, we will go over the cost of the common types of commercial vacuums as well as 9 factors that will affect the price of the machine.

The cost of a commercial vacuum will not only include the initial purchase price but the total cost of maintenance and repair fees over the life of the machine. Selecting a machine that has a warranty that covers repairs and other costs can help lower the cost of the machine over its life. 

The initial cost of your vacuum is the upfront cost or purchase price. This is impacted by the type of vacuum and the following features: 

  1. Power Source
  2. Motor Size
  3. Number of Motors
  4. Cleaning Path Size
  5. Filtration System
  6. Body Construction Material
  7. Available Cleaning Tools

The total cost of ownership is the initial cost plus the aggregate total of expenses over the life of the machine. The total lifetime cost of a commercial vacuum can be lowered with:

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Set-Up & Training
  3. Warranty

Types of Commercial Vacuums

Type Price Range
Handheld Duster Vacuum Cleaner $125.00 - $300.00
Canister Vacuum Cleaner $300.00 - $1,800.00
Upright Vacuum Cleaner $175.00 - $3,400.00
Backpack Vacuum Cleaner $350.00 - $1,700.00
Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner $250.00 - $1,400.00

Handheld Duster Vacuum Price

How much does a handheld duster vacuum cost?

Handheld dusters are the smallest available vacuums. These are the least expensive vacuums, but their compact size restricts their use to small, hard to reach areas or upholstery cleaning.

A handheld duster vacuum will typically cost somewhere between $125.00 and $300.00.

The exact cost of the machine will vary based on size, manufacturer, material type, filter type, power source, and other features installed.

Canister Vacuum Price

How much does a canister vacuum cost?

NSS Model M1 Pig Canister VacuumCanister vacuums have large filter bags and can be used to clean a variety of surfaces.

They typically come with various specialized attachments which make them useful for unique cleaning tasks. 

The cost of canister vacuums are most heavily affected by the filter type and any additional cleaning tools. They can be equipped with paper filter bags or reusable bags. The cost will also vary based on filter bag size. 

Canister vacuums will typically cost somewhere between $300.00 - $1,800.00.

The exact cost of the machine will vary based on size, manufacturer, material type, bag size, filter type, and other features installed.

Upright Vacuum Price

How much does an upright vacuum cost?

NSS Pacer 12UE Upright VacuumCompared to the other types of commercial vacuums, upright vacuums vary the most in cost due to the wide range of cleaning path and filter bag sizes.

They can offer cleaning paths from 12-28 inches and filter bag sizes between 3.25 quarts and 36 quarts. Vacuums with smaller cleaning capacities will be less expensive but will not cover as much area per pass.

An upright vacuum will typically cost somewhere between $175.00 - $3,400.00.

The exact cost of the machine will vary based on size, manufacturer, material type, filter type, power source, number of motors, cleaning path size, and other features installed.

Backpack Vacuum Price

How much does a backpack vacuum cost?

ProTeam Super Coach Pro 6qt Backpack VacuumThe price of a backpack vacuum will heavily depend on whether it is cord-electric or battery powered.

Battery powered backpack vacuums are more expensive when compared to cord electric vacuums, but they can improve worker productivity by as much as 230%, allowing you to recoup expenses in saved labor costs.

A backpack vacuum will typically cost somewhere between $350.00 - $1,700.00.

The exact cost of the machine will vary based on size, manufacturer, material type, filter type, power source, included attachments and other features installed.

Wet/Dry Vacuum Price

How much does a wet/dry vacuum cost?

Clarke Summit Pro 185Q Wet Dry VacuumCompared to other commercial vacuums, wet/dry vacuums are unique in that they are designed to pick up wet or dry soils without damage to the motor or vacuum. Other types of vacuums can be damaged by wet soil pickup.

A wet/dry vacuum will typically cost somewhere between $250.00 - $1,400.00.

The exact cost of the machine will vary based on size, manufacturer, material type, number of motors, tank size, and other features installed.

Factors that Affect the Price of a Commercial Vacuum

1. Power Source

One of the primary features that affect the price of commercial vacuums is the power source. Vacuums can be battery operated or cord-electric.

Cord-Electric

Yellow Cord

The majority of commercial vacuums are cord-electric. Cord-electric vacuums are typically less expensive than their battery-powered equivalents. 

Even though cord-electric vacuums require a lesser investment upfront, large facilities or facilities maintaining wide-open areas will likely see a faster payback from a large battery-operated vacuum. 

Power cords generally range between 50 and 75 feet long and will require the operator to manage the cord throughout a cleaning procedure. The additional time it takes to manage the cord leads to decreased productivity and longer cleaning times. 

Battery powered vacuums will allow the operator to easily go beyond the length of the cord.

Battery Operated

Battery operated vacuums are more expensive than cord-electric machines, but they provide increased cleaning productivity by eliminating the need to manage the cord. 

The cost of a battery powered machine can be affected by the type of battery. Battery powered vacuums typically use lithium ion. Some can use gel or AGM.

LITHIUM ION (Li-ion)

ProTeam Battery

Lithium batteries are the most expensive, but offer the operator the increased convenience of no maintenance and a long battery life. 

The increased cost of a lithium battery can be offset by the number of times it can be recharged. Lithium ion (li-ion) batteries will also reach a full charge more quickly when compared to gel or agm batteries.

GEL OR AGM

Gel or AGM batteries are also maintenance-free battery solutions. They are both less expensive than li-ion, but do not achieve as many charge cycles and have a shorter battery life.

2. Motor Size

Vacuum motors are typically measured in amps or horsepower. The higher the amp or horsepower, the more powerful the motor. More powerful motors can provide a better clean, enabling workers to clean more efficiently.  

In general, the more powerful the motor, the more expensive the vacuum. 

3. Number of Motors 

Commercial vacuums can have either one or two motors. 

Single motor vacuums contain one motor that drives both the vacuum and the brush. Dual motor vacuums have separate motors, one for the brush and one for vacuum suction. 

Dual motor vacuums provide power to both the brush roller and the suction motor throughout the entire cleaning procedure. 

Most commonly found on upright vacuums, dual motor vacuums provide more power and increased efficiency. Increased power enables them to better tackle heavier and deeply embedded soils on the first pass.

Dual motors are more expensive but can provide better cleaning results, lower cleaning times, and increased worker productivity.

4. Filtration system 

Vacuums are equipped with some type of filtration system. The least expensive systems will have a reusable cloth bag. 

More expensive commercial vacuums will have 2, 3 or 4 stage filtration systems. 

Multiple level filtration systems work to capture and remove greater amounts of dust, soils, and other particles from the air. The more particulates that are removed, the cleaner and healthier the air in your facility will be.

The best filtration systems include HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters. These systems trap and contain 99.97% of all airborne particles larger than .3 microns. 

5. Cleaning Path Size 

Cleaning paths typically range from 12 inches to 28 inches.

Matching the size of the vacuum to the area will be important to maximize worker efficiency.
Advance CP CarpeTriever 28 Wide Area Vacuum

Vacuums with large cleaning paths will be most productive in wide open areas, but in smaller areas they can actually hinder worker productivity by requiring them to have to maneuver into tight spaces. On the other hand, vacuums with small cleaning paths can quickly and easily tackle tight spaces. But, they would not be efficient in large areas where they would require cleaning staff to make multiple passes. 

In general, the larger the cleaning path size of the vacuum, the more expensive it will be.

6. Body Construction Material 

The materials from which the vacuum is made from may affect the cost. 

The housing can be made from an inexpensive plastic to a more expensive stainless steel.  

The construction of the vacuum can affect more than the initial price. Heavier materials will make the vacuum hard to use and more fatiguing to staff, lowering the amount of work staff will be able to get done during a shift. 

Materials will also play a role in how easily the vacuum is damaged and maintained. More durable materials may be more expensive upfront but will protect the vacuum, helping it to last longer and making it easier to maintain.

7. Available Cleaning Tools

Base model vacuums generally do not come equipped with any additional cleaning tools. 

ProTeam Super Coach Pro 10 10 qt. Backpack Vacuum with Xover Multi-Surface Two-Piece Wand Tool Kit

For an additional price, vacuums can be paired with cleaning kits to help tackle specific cleaning tasks. For example, the ProTeam GoFree Flex Pro II can be paired with a cleaning kit that includes a 14" Xover® multi-surface floor tool, telescoping wand, 5" upholstery tool, 3" dust brush and 17" crevice tool.

Additional tools will increase the initial cost of the vacuum but can lower the amount of time it takes staff to perform a cleaning procedure, ultimately reducing labor costs.

8. Preventative Maintenance 

The life of your vacuum can be extended through preventative maintenance and routine servicing. Proper maintenance of your machine will reduce the need for more costly repairs, lowering the total cost of your machine over its life. 

Although it may cost you more initially, services like preventative maintenance will also reduce unscheduled equipment downtime and lost worker productivity that downtime causes.

9. Set-Up & Training

When purchasing a vacuum, identify whether set-up and training is an additional or built-in cost. 

Backpack Vac Stairs

Training is important in ensuring employees understand the safest and best way to operate and maintain the equipment. Proper usage and training will reduce equipment damages, extend the life of your commercial vacuum, reduce risk of employee injury, and maximize employee productivity. 

10. Warranty

Commercial vacuum cleaners often come with a standard warranty on parts. These usually do not cover the replacement of expendable wearables such as carbon brushes, batteries, brushes, and filter bags.

In general, a warranty can help save you money in repair costs over the life of the machine. 

Warranties are typically between 1-3 years, but can be as long as 8 years depending on the manufacturer and model. 

Additional items that can be covered under manufacturer warranties can include labor, batteries, and the motor. Warranty coverage will vary by manufacturer as well as make and model.


Final Thoughts

There are many factors to consider when selecting the best vacuum for your facility. 

One of the biggest factors may be budget, but it shouldn’t be the only factor. Sometimes a more expensive vacuum can offer a better return on investment (ROI) when compared to a machine with a less expensive upfront cost. 

A vacuum that can be paired with cleaning tools or offers a warranty on parts will allow you to recoup your initial investment in a shorter amount of time than if you selected the least expensive machine with no warranty or cleaning tools.

A less expensive machine may not have the same useful life or provide a warranty on parts and will likely cost you more in repairs, unplanned equipment downtime, and lost worker productivity in the long run.

EBP has been a leading provider of commercial cleaning solutions for over 100 years, and we offer a variety of commercial cleaning supplies and janitorial cleaning equipment including a variety of commercial vacuum cleaners to help you build a successful floor care program.

For help identifying the best type of vacuum for your area, check out the top-rated vacuums of 2020.

Check Out These Related Resources:

About Dan Carr

Dan Carr is the Equipment Program Manager for EBP Supply Solutions and a Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified and other training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He holds the ISSA CMI Basic certification and has over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.