Monday, June 21, 2010

How to Buy a Vacuum Cleaner

I mentioned that our old vacuum cleaner had a stroke and shorted out, and since dog hair never sleeps, we went looking for another one. If we waited more than a couple of weeks, we'd need machetes to get out of the house ...

I've seen all the TV commercials for the gosh-wow Dyson, and it looks cool and high-tech, but it is spendy. We dropped by Costco, checked online reviews, and decided to go to the local vacuum cleaner store, Stark's, where we could do side-by-side comparisons.

We told the manager what we had -- the Kenmore/Panasonic upright -- what we wanted the new machine to do -- suck up the dog and cat hair -- and that we hoped it would last as long as the old one.

He grabbed three upright machines: Dyson's Animal-hair model; a cheaper Hoover; and a Simplicity, also much cheaper than the Dyson. (I don't like canister vacs, the hoses never last.)

He took a handful of dog hair from a handy jar and rubbed it into the carpet and then ran the three machines.

Took the Dyson three tracks to clear the swatch, but it cleaned it good. Took the Hoover four. Took the Simplicity two, and it looked cleaner. Yep, it had bags, and no bells and whistles, but a steel roller instead of plastic, and three hundred bucks cheaper?


Guy laid the Simplicity down and then stood on the body of it. Made in America, he said, same plastic they use for football helmets. Don't want to do that with the Dyson. Uses bags, but you'll probably get eleven or twelve years out of it if you bring it in every couple of years for a tune-up, at $24 a whack. Four-year guarantee -- and the Dyson has a five-year guarantee, but, it will be dead by six or seven.

Much of his business is repairing these critters.

He could have tried to sell us the six or eight hundred buck machines, but since we had been happy with the old one and this was pretty close to it, and, allowing for inflation, about the same price?


Oh. And he had a dog at home, too. And this was the one he had.


Consumer Guide gave it a Best Buy rating.

Good enough for me.


Ian SADLER said...

Speaking of house house appliances...

I got a clip round the head when I showed to 'she who must be obeyed'... But it was worth it.

Hopefully Steve can do some magic to enhance the viewing.

Steve Perry said...

Well, we have one of those modern households in which we divide up the chores. If you cook supper, your partner theoretically does the dishes. Laundry is usually shared in that one of us might load and the other unload and fold, though that varies. I do the vacuuming, my wife swabs the bathrooms, we both take swipes at the kitchen. I take the garbage out and do the trees and weed eater; she plants most of the plants in the garden.

Neither of us do much ironing, though I learned how and if I have to put on a dress shirt, I can manage that if needed.

J.D. Ray said...

Thanks for the vacuum cleaner tips. We just opened a new room at the cafe, and it's carpeted (it came that way, and we didn't want to spend the money to re-lay a floor). We're going to need a vacuum for it. Figured we'd bring the home model, on its last legs, down here and buy a new one for the house. May have to re-think that, though. I just realized that there's more square footage of carpet in our new back room than in our whole house...

steve-vh said...

Love my Tennant Ultraglide. Yeah it's a commercial machine (I won it at the Company christmas party). It's made to be used 40hrs a week cleaning offices so it should last just fine for us. So I bought a second one for the basement at a company sale, $50. You can sometimes find them at distributors that sell to the public.

Oh and the heavy dog hair? One pass. And I can get 8 bags for $6!

RJ said...

Hopefully you won't have to go through the vacuum-selection process again soon, but if you do, I found this "How to" guide really helpful!