Weather Forecast


Owner of local House of Vacuums shop talks products and business

"Tom Nyberg has owned and operated the House of Vacuums, located at 410 N. Washington St., since 1984." Photo by Luke Franke

The Herald has started a new feature highlighting local businesses. Roughly every week, we’ll ask local business owners, whether they’re just starting out or have been in the community for decades, about their keys to success, how they got their start, and challenges they’ve faced.


Name: Tom Nyberg  

Title and business: Owner of House of Vacuums

How long you’ve been in that role: I’ve owned and operated House of Vacuums since 1984.

Number of employees: One full-time employee besides myself

Q. How did you originally get started in the business?

A. After teaching and coaching high school for a few years, I was looking for a change, and looked at several small businesses. I got interested in the House of Vacuums thinking it would be a good fit since I grew up on a farm, taught industrial technology and this would be a business that involves selling, servicing, and repair of mechanical products.

Q. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry or in your business? 

A. There are a lot more brands of vacuums sold, requiring more parts needing to be stocked. A lot of vacuums are only made to last a few years, and become “throw away” vacuums in a lot of cases. We try to choose quality brands that last and we are a dealer for several of these brands.

Q. Your website seems to suggest that you prefer vacuums using bags rather than bag-less ones, which seem to be more and more common these days. So why should customers go with bags? 

A. If you ask people why they use liners in their trash cans they would probably say, “It’s cleaner and easier to empty, it doesn’t smell all the time, and it seems healthier that way.”  The same applies to bag-less vacuums. If you just dump the dirt out some is stuck in the container and in other parts of the vacuum. Bag-less vacuums also have filters that need to be cleaned more often than bag machines because there is no bag to catch most of the material you pick up. There are many other reasons that we, as well as most others who work on vacuum cleaners prefer bag-type machines.

Q. What advice do you wish you would have received before you got your start in business?

A. To be patient in your first years, as it takes time and a lot of work to build up a business.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

(701) 255-5607