Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vacuum Cleaners Suck!

Image from Get Price

Yes, they really do.  We were given our ladybug (Red Electrolux Oxygen) as a wedding present some 7 years ago, and unexpectedly last week it died.  Just stopped.  Then after unplugging it, checking everything and plugging it back in there was success - until it stopped about 2 minutes later, followed by some electrical zapping kind of noises. Yep, dead.
We had been quite fond of the vacuum cleaner - well, as fond as you can get.  It did it's job and that's all you can ask for.
The problem then came that I had to replace the beloved (ok, not quite) vacuum.  Hands up if you have just tried to buy a vacuum cleaner. No? Well, let me tell you there are about 50 brands each with about 20 models (ok, maybe not) and they range in price from about $100 to over $2000.  That's a big difference when essentially they should all suck.
Apparently some do it better than others.  The first thing I learnt was that power does not equal suction.  A 1600w motor can be more efficient and suck better than a 2200w motor - but not necessarily (do you see where this is going?).  Bags vs bagless.  Upright or barrel.  Length of cord.  Length of hose.  Turbo heads.  Power heads.  Crevice tools.  Filters.  Urgh!
I spent nearly a whole day researching online the different makes, models, price ranges and product reviews.  It pretty much boiled down to picking a price range and working out which of those models had the features I desired.  For me, I started with vacuums that were $400-$500 knowing that I wouldn't pay that much and would end up paying around $300 with store discounts or for paying cash (never pay retail, right?).  For me I needed a cleaner that worked equally well on tiles as carpet, seeing as the majority of our house is tiled floors.  This meant I wanted variable suction and possibly a dedicated hard-floor head (the one with bristles) for when I'm using it under the dining table and sucking up all that lovely greasy/sticky fallen food that I don't then want to smear into my carpets.  The fact I need to clean under stuff also meant I was sticking to a barrel vacuum - not an upright.
I narrowed it down to 2 models - a Bosch and an Electrolux.  Both had almost identical features, and both were very similarly priced.  I searched for internet prices on both models so I had something to go off and then hit the shops.
My first stop was The Good Guys.  In the past I haven't been impressed with them for lack of service (read: standing in an empty store for 10 minutes without anybody asking if I needed help) but when I'm talking money I'm prepared to give them a second chance.  As it happened, the Electrolux model I had shortlisted was on display marked as clearance with an additional 10% off. Sweet.  The salesman rounded it down to $240 and I called it a deal.  Do I care that there is a newer model about to be released? I think not.
Ideally I would have liked to not pay for a new vacuum cleaner, but because the house would have become like a snapshot from the show Hoarders without one, I very much liked paying about half the retail price.
The verdict: It is very similar to our old vacuum cleaner, but I suppose that's a good thing because I did like it - it sucked.

1 comment:

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