Aug 172012

When the opportunity came along to review the Hoover WindTunnel Air Bagless Upright – I jumped on the chance!  You have to know me to really understand how vacuum cleaners and I get along.  I go through vacuums like people change their underwear – seriously!  I have no idea what I do to them for them to dislike me as they do.

The vacuum arrived at my door and I couldn’t wait to put it together.  I needed to see how it measured up to the vacuum I currently have.  I actually had two up until recently – one for just the rugs and one where I kept the hose attachment attached all the time – it just made my life a lot easier.  I very well could use a broom on my laminate floors – but with all the animals I have -15 cats and a LONG-haired dog – the shedding fur just flies everywhere.  Putting the vacuum together was a breeze! When I say it was a breeze – I truly mean that.  This vacuum has to be one of the easiest vacuums I’ve ever assembled.

We couldn’t wait to unpack it!

I then began to scrutinize the Hoover WindTunnel Air Bagless Upright Vacuum.

  • The very first thing I noticed about the Hoover WindTunnel Air Bagless was how light it was in weight – specs state it weighs 12.4 lbs. and I believe it.  Most of the parts are made of a plastic, which I am sure accounts for it being so lightweight.  That doesn’t bother me in the least.  It’s not a thin plastic and I’m not going to be using like a ball.  It is actually a great feature for those who may have issues with their backs – as I do when I do cleaning chores such as vacuuming and washing the floors.
  • I then inspected the cleaning head path.  No, it’s not a wide head; but I learned a long time ago one doesn’t need a wide cleaning head.  The wider the head is, the harder it is to get into areas on the smaller side – like in between chair legs, or in between end table legs.  It is not my idea of a good time to have to move pieces of furniture to do a quick vacuum.  On another note – the entire headpiece is thin.  It’s one of the thinnest headpieces I’ve seen and there’s something to be said about that.  It fits under the edge of my sofa, fits under cabinets, under my refrigerator door, and even fits under the edge of my bed that actually sits low to the ground.
  • The wheels were next on my list.  I simply love the fact that they don’t swivel.  I have a vac where the back wheels swivel and they are small – they are a royal pain in my butt.  The wheels get caught on the edges of my braided rugs.  It simply makes the chore all that more dreadful when I’m fighting with the vacuum.
  • Onto the canister.  No, it isn’t all that big; but I have to say the bigger they are the more they hold, the heavier the vacuum gets as the canister fills with dirt.  The one thing I love about the canister is that it’s super easy to empty it.  It’s a matter of pushing the button to release it from the vacuum and then pushing another button on the BOTTOM, which then opens the door to release the  dirt.  It’s a matter of making sure you’re over the trash barrel when you hit that bottom button.  Personally, I don’t empty the canister in my trash barrel.  I use bags from the grocery store and take it all outside.  The reason I do this is because I do have so many animals and if the vacuum has sucked up any fleas or eggs, I surely don’t want them thinking they can stay for a visit any longer than they already have.  Our home also sits on sand and there are a lot of fleas at certain times of the year that help themselves to using our home as theirs.  Plus, it keeps the dust from filtering back into the house.
  • The filter is washable – yes, washable.  I have not washed it yet as I really don’t feel it’s necessary quite yet. That said, I really can’t tell you how durable the filter stands up to being washed and then used again.  When I do wash it, I’ll come back and update this review.
  • The handle!  What a gem of a handle.  It can be adjusted for several heights…that’s just too cool.  There’s no reason for a tall person to have to feel like they’re doing a backbreaking task.  On the flip-side, short people can adjust to where it feels good to them.
  • The cord is 30′ in length – which is average these days.  It would make my heart sing if they’d make one 50′ in length so I didn’t have to keep unplugging it to move to the other end of the house.
  • The hose attachment is see-thru and is quite long.  There’s really something to be said for this.  If something were ever to get caught in the hose – you can see exactly WHERE it’s caught – and then fish it out from the end that makes most sense.  This hose also comes out of the top of the vacuum handle and I have no problem with that.  The other end, when not attached for use, goes into a holder on the bottom left.  At first I had real issues with this, as it didn’t want to stay in that holder.  I was never so frustrated every time it fell out…I was cursing at it.  BUT, then I discovered that if I coiled the hose tighter near the bottom near the holder from the side holder down – it stays in much better.  I still will find it flopping out on occasion but not like it did in the beginning when I didn’t put more weight/coils towards the bottom.  The fact that the hose is long is nice because you have all that extra to be able to easily reach the ceiling and high walled areas (I have cathedral ceilings in my living/dining room).  When you add the rigid attachment to the hose you really can get way up there.  I actually have saved those attachments from other vacs I’ve owned and attach two or three to the one that comes with it (more on that later).
  • The power button – someone was smart when they designed this vac.  It’s located at the base of the handle.  There are actually two switches there.  One for power and the other for turning the brush roller (I call it a beater bar) on and off.  This is so much nicer than having to bend over to switch from bare floor cleaning to rugs, which is what I’ve had to do with every other vac I’ve owned.
  • There’s a little light on the head of the vacuum – green means everything is working just fine.  Red means there’s a problem that needs tending to.  I’ve not had the red light go on for me once.  We did have a funny noise coming from the head and we weren’t sure if something was wrapped around the beater bar so we took the cover on the bottom off.  Extremely easy to do – a few screws and off it comes.  Of course, I had to inspect the belt set-up while the cover was off to see how hard it would be to replace or put back on, should it come off.  I was amazed that it wasn’t a traditional rubber belt.  I’m not sure what it’s made of, and I really don’t care, because it was so easy to put back on and put the bar back into place.  No tugging and pulling at all!

I was now ready to test out the performance of this vacuum.  On the vacuum went and off I went cleaning rugs and laminate floors that hadn’t been done in quite a few days.  This isn’t a norm for me, but I was on somewhat of a vaca while my son was at camp and the last thing I wanted to do is clean.  I want you to picture shedding cat hair everywhere, sand and dirt coming in from shoes and wet dog feet, clumps of long dog hair from her being in a full phase of shedding, dirt falling off the dog as she dried off from being out horned pouting with me, and all the other crap that accumulates on the floors.

Here’s my rug before I used the vacuum the very first time. Now – this isn’t how my carpets normally look – I just happened to be on vacation but my 15 cats and long-haired dog were home. Of course, they don’t clean :(.

This is the living room rug AFTER the first vacuuming with my new Hoover. What a difference wouldn’t you say?

Here’s what I found:

  • The vacuum did a good job on braided rugs provided I went slowly.  I believe the first run of the vac on these braided rugs was probably asking a bit much considering how long it had been since I had vacuumed.  This was not the case after the first vacuuming of the rugs.
  • Entrance rugs – The suction is SOOO strong on this vacuum that vacuuming entrance rugs, bedside rugs etc.  pulled the rug up to the point that I couldn’t use the vacuum on them.
  • Linoleum – I have three areas with linoleum.  Two areas are by my entrance doors and the other in the craft/sewing room.  The two sections by the entrance doors are glued down and for that reason – the vacuum did its job really well.  The craft/sewing room’s linoleum is one of the newer linoleum that one doesn’t glue down.  I found the suction on the vacuum to be so strong that it pulled up the linoleum.  That put a halt to using the vacuum on that floor.
  • Laminate floors – I have laminate throughout the rest of my home.  Some of the laminate sections have gaps between sections – which I have no clue as to why, but they are there regardless.  I was worried the vacuum’s suction wouldn’t be strong enough to get the dirt out of these crevices.  That wasn’t the case.  In fact, these areas came clean, the laminate was easy to vacuum without having fur blowing around, and I didn’t find myself having to chase pieces of debris that didn’t want to be removed on the first swipe.
  • Tile – I have one bathroom with tile and found the vacuum did a great job on cleaning that space.
  • The edge cleaner – now, I have to say, I haven’t had much luck in finding a vacuum that does a good job on edge cleaning – that is until now!  The edge cleaner on this vac – ROCKS!  And this isn’t just basing the edge cleaner cleaning from the side.  When I used it under my kitchen cabinets the dirt up against the edge of the floor, positioning the vac straight on suctioned right up into the vac!
  • Using the hose attachment – I had to try this out of course! As I said earlier, I have high ceilings in a couple of rooms.  Of course, I am not that tall so I have to attach the black rigid attachment to it and I actually add another, sometimes two more, to the equation.  The first thought that would come to mind is if attaching so many of these – there would be a loss of suction.  That was not the case.   Even using these attachments one – or more, the vacuum does the job effortlessly.

My mother in law asked if she could borrow it to see how she liked it.  She has issues with walking and pushing the heavy vac she currently owns.  She took it home and brought it back to me the next day after using it on a traditional carpet.  She was very pleased with how it cleaned that carpet.  She had my father in law take it for a test run.  He told me that he liked how it cleaned much better than the $800 vac they own.  His only complaint was the hose attachment kept coming out of the holder.  I hadn’t figured the trick out of keeping it in the holder until later – so I couldn’t tell him how to help keeping that from happening.

To make the Hoover WindTunnel Air Bagless Upright the perfect vacuum for me, I’d like to see vac have:

  • Adjustable heights so I could do area rugs and the newer linoleum flooring I have
  • a headlight

Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review, but my opinions are entirely my own

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