I bought this vacuum a few weeks ago and am very impressed with it. There are SOME negatives, but most are either unique to my particular situation, or not significant enough to detract from the five stars I still believe this to be worth. Some of the points I make don't carry weight one way or the other, it just seemed noteworthy to me so I thought I would mention it here.
1. This is a heavy vacuum. To me, it is not a deterrent as I'm completely able to lift, carry and maneuver it without a problem, but there are many who probably would not be able to get it up or down flights of stairs easily. Lift the box in the stores- it's not much heavier than the unit itself, just cardboard and Styrofoam.
2. This vacuum has a 12 amp draw. This is only a small problem to me as my home runs on 15 amp breakers and it's not uncommon for it to pop the circuit if I forget to turn off my television. (Oddly enough, my previous vacuum was also 12 amps, and I never had that problem) I don't fault the vacuum for this- it's just the way my wiring is.
3. I can leave the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs and use the hose to clean off all the steps, and a little further. I have average height ceilings.
4. The feature for switching from carpets to floors is unbelievably useful. I never used to vacuum my hard surface floors because it was a pain switching, now I hardly sweep them anymore.
5. Emptying the canister is easy enough, but it seems like "stuff" wants to hang onto the bottom of the door that opens so you really have to shake it to empty- which kicks up a lot of dust. I solve this by simply emptying the canister outside only. Putting the canister back in isn't complicated- but I've had some minor difficulty getting it to seat properly.
6. The hand tool with the rotary brush is neat. That said, the suction with it is still good but if you press too hard on a surface, it slows down the brush to be nearly ineffective, and with cats, I have to press down. It would have been better if there was a solid edge of immobile bristles as well so I could at least use some sort of brushing action. I find myself rarely using this attachment, and using the other attachment with a hard rubber edging to help pull up fur.
7. When set to the proper height for carpeting, this vacuum seems almost self propelling. It isn't- but it moves very easily over my carpet. When set for floors- I have some high points (uneven flooring) that the vacuum will actually suction itself onto.
8. The filters are easy to access, clean and inexpensive to replace. I ordered replacements from Hoover's website so when I do decide to replace or wash the filters, I don't have to wait for them to dry and can just switch them out.
9. This vacuum puts out some significant heat. The first couple of times I didn't think anything of it as it was still cold outside and I just assumed it was from my heater- I recently discovered otherwise.
10. The suction is incredible! I absolutely could not believe how much more junk this picked up that my old one couldn't. I first vacuumed fairly thoroughly with my old one, and nearly filled the canister mostly with fur and random debris, (I'm a "twice-a-week" vacuum-er) I then used this one and filled its canister twice in the same space I had just vacuumed- and was disgusted with how much dust and dander had built up in the carpeting that my old vacuum never touched. I can't wait to "rug doctor" them and see how many fewer passes I have to do since I have so much more stuff coming out of the carpeting now than ever before. I should note, that that much I picked up was a one time thing- I still get dust, but not like I did the first time I used it and I can usually vacuum my whole house and only need to empty the canister when I'm done.
I know that this vacuum is a bit on the pricey side, but at less than half the cost of a Dyson, I think it's well worth the money. I would strongly recommend it to anyone on the fence about buying it.
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