Is there a difference between portable systems and truck-mounted carpet cleaning systems?

The cleaning equipment your professional carpet cleaner uses can have a significant impact on the cost, effectiveness and convenience of your carpet cleaning experience.

Truck-mounted systems, where the cleaning equipment is permanently installed in a van and hoses and attachments are brought into the home, are used most frequently by carpet cleaning services.

Portable systems, where the entire cleaning unit is brought into the house to perform carpet cleaning, are still used frequently, too.

To determine which primary carpet cleaning equipment or process truly is better for your unique needs and preferences, consider the following pros and cons of each method:

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Carpet drying time

Truck-mounted carpet cleaning equipment tends to provide more thorough cleanings and quicker drying time when compared with portable equipment.

Truck-mounted equipment is also usually larger and more powerful than portable carpet cleaners or steam cleaners, which leads to more effective suction of moisture from the carpet after a cleaning.

Carpet cleaners who use portable cleaning systems may employ portable fans to speed up drying times, but this can take longer than methods used with truck-mounted equipment.

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Convenience of carpet cleaning equipment

The convenience of carpet cleaning equipment tends to affect professionals more than homeowners. However, sometimes personal preference and a variety of different circumstances determine which method is more convenient than the other.

In cases where there is high traffic in the home and a lot of area to cover, sliding hoses and other equipment from outside is usually quicker and causes fewer interruptions for the carpet cleaners.

However, bringing that equipment in from outside means more outside air will come in the home during the carpet cleaning, which can result in an uncomfortable indoor temperature.

Risk of spills from carpet cleaning

Despite the slight inconvenience of running hoses into the home with truck-mounted equipment, this method poses a much smaller risk of spilling used water or cleaning byproduct in the home during a cleaning.

Truck-mounted equipment can also hold more wastewater and cleaning solutions, and more effectively separates these liquids from the home.

Alternatively, portable equipment requires more frequent emptying of used water or cleaning byproduct and the equipment is inside the home throughout the entire cleaning process — which can possibly increase the chance of an accidental spill. Portable equipment also must be emptied after a shorter period of time, which may limit productivity.

Cost of using truck-mounted equipment

Since truck-mounted carpet cleaning equipment is more expensive than portable equipment, it usually costs more to use in your home. The greater efficacy of the equipment and the quicker process tends to drive up the price, because it brings greater convenience to the homeowner. Portable carpet cleaning equipment is cheaper by contrast.

Carpet cleaning, in general, can cost about $25 to $75 per room, with the truck-mounted equipment cost leaning toward the higher end of the price range.