Vacuum Cleaners -vs- Carpet Life

This may be a stretch for the home repair group, but it was some recent repairs and upgrades that got me thinking about it, so ...
I've owned a Kirby vacuum cleaner for many years, and just replaced carpeting that was 20 years old. I've always heard the claims that by doing a better job cleaning, i.e., removing more dirt from the carpet, that this made carpets last longer. (The idea being that dirt acts as an abrasive and wears out carpets.) While my old carpet stood up very well for that rather long period of time, the installers and a supervisor who stopped by during the installation agreed that there was about the same amount of fine dirt and sand under the old carpet as they see everywhere else for a carpet of that age. In other words, probably no cleaner with the Kirby than with the other machines out there.
My wife hates pushing the heavy thing around, and would like to get one of the newer, lighter vacuums. My argument for keeping the Kirby has always been the idea that the Kirby will make the carpet last longer, but that now seems in doubt. Any opinions out there?
- Magnusfarce
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I work for the world's largest carpet manufacturer, and can promise you that keeping abrasives (dirt, sand, etc) out of your carpet will greatly extend its life. A good vacuum is the best way to remove these materials. Being a Kirby owner myself (a hand-me down), I think there are better vacuums on the market today, and wouldn't hang my hat on the Kirby name or reputation, which goes back to 20+ years ago when the Kirby may have been a superior product. I believe you'll get the best results if you get a high quality, lighter unit that your wife will use more often.
On the other hand, being a carpet manufacturing guy, I beg that you abuse your carpet in every way possible in order to keep our business going strong. ;-)
KB

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My carpets are 31 years old and still going strong .... I still like my dark blue shag. It's a thich shag so it is not real shag-like. Anyway, we have always had one or 2 dogs and have always used a central cleaner with with electric beater-brush. We extraction clean it about every 2 years. My next house will definitely have a central cleaning system. In addition, all the stinky air is dumped outside rather than "filtering" into your room.
Magnusfarce wrote:

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Seems to me that your wife would like a new vacuum. =)
I like my Hoover upright bagless, in the $250 dollar range. Cleans the dog hair up wonderfully and I am very picky. Cons: Noisy and I wish it had a longer attachment hose.
I got a compliment from the carpet cleaning guy on how new my carpet looked and smelled. I vac ever other day and have two large dogs. He expected to be overwhelmed with a dog smell when he cleaned it. This brings up a point. It seems that bagless vacs do not retain animal smells, or the stinky vacuum cleaner smell, as long as you empty the canister and tap off the filter after using.
I think this is the reason, together with frequent vacuuming, that my carpets do not smell doggy.
-Oldy
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