Vacuum Cleaners

mwoodsFebruary 15, 2009

Need your input. Years ago you all helped me choose a new coffee pot ( got a Bunn and never looked back) and now I want to get a new vacuum. We have a two story house,carpeted stairs and area rugs all over the place with a lot of old bare oak floors. What I have is an upright for the carpets and a cannister for the stairs and floors. What I would really like is one vacuum for everything and that would probably be a powerful cannister that could do the job. Somone comes in every other week to clean ( lucky me!) and she has to lug both vacuums around,as do I when I need them for a specific mud balls the animals drag in or whatever. I went over to the appliance forum,but you know people tend to get rabid on these forums that are specific in nature and I'm NOT going to spend 800.00 for a single vacuum cleaner. How can you be a regular on an appliance forum by the way? Ok...tell me about your vacuum experiences.

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When Katie (gardenkat) moved to Guatemala, she gave me her Kenmore Progressive and I love it. It's a canister that detaches and has all sorts of attachments. It is powerful and I can also do the hardwood floors with it.

Other than that, a whole house vac might be the way to go. I hear they are wonderful, but I don't have any experience with one.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 8:57AM
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    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 10:02AM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

Ditto, Dyson! We've had ours (Dyson DC07 Animal) since 11/13/05 (just pulled up the receipt on my computer, and I paid $449.99 including S&H) and nary a problem. I am amazed that every single time I use it, I can fill the canister completely. I am also humbled because, based on this, I did NOT change the bags nearly frequently enough when I had that nasty upright. Factor in how much those bags cost over the years and the bag-less vacs (that actually work better) are a bargain.

I've said before that vacuuming with the Dyson is like chewing those dye tablets in grade school when the dental hygienist came in to teach us about oral hygiene. Remember those? The immediate visual feedback helped us understand that we weren't brushing long enough to get our teeth really clean. Seeing the stuff being sucked in helped me understand I needed to vacuum certain areas several times before they're really clean. (Even if I'd already left "vacuum marks" in the carpet pile.)

Doing the stairs is easy because you leave the canister on the bottom, and the hose reaches all the way to the top. Also, unlike our old vacuum and our (heavy) carpet shampooer, there's a well-placed handle on the Dyson that helps you carry it up and down the stairs in an ergonomically sensible way.

The Dyson setup comes in handy other times too, like last summer when the neighbor kids left my back door open during a night-time cookout, and every bug in the neighborhood came in and was on my ceiling. My guests laughed when I dragged out the Dyson and spent two minutes vacuuming the ceiling, but I didn't have bugs all over the house, and didn't fret about bugs or open doors for the rest of the night. (This also works in everyday life when you encounter cobwebs in high corners.)

The set-up on the Dyson is completely intuitive. It is no trouble at all to whip out a wand and vacuum up your broom's dust pile on the kitchen floor, or to skip the broom and just vacuum the floor.

Maybe the thing I like best about it is, after more than three years of twice-weekly use in a house with two big dogs and a cat, it doesn't have that awful stench my old vacuum had... Also, I've never had any mechanical problems with mine (stench of burning belts, anyone?). I did have to replace the crevice tool earlier this year... when Jazmyn mistook the old one for a chew toy, but that was a $2.99 problem.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 11:04AM
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They are bagless aren't they? I've had a couple without bags and they not only got dust in the air when dumping the container,but were a mess to clean. Everything I've been hearing says to stay away from bagless vacuums..especially if you have allergies or have a problem with dust. It sounds though as if that doesn't bother either of you. Dysons,Oreks and Mieles always seem to be mentioned as good vacuums.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Is there anyway you can install a built in vacuum system. I have had it in every house I've lived in and have seen my children go through vacuum cleaners about every two years. I can't imagine that they are any more expensive than an $800 portable.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 12:49PM
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Many of the bagless vacs have hepa filtration systems. My Mom's does and it is so lightweight, it's hard to believe that it does as good a job as my two ton Kirby. No, no dust problems, and like Jazz says the room doesn't ever get that post-vacuum bag funk smell.

I used it first when I went to visit my DD and SIL. That and their Bosch washer made a believer out of me. I worked for an English Engineer for some years, and the one who developed Dyson Sweepers knew what he was doing. Amen. I'll never have a Mercedes, but driving a Dyson is sort of the same high.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 3:06PM
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I have an Orek but I don't think they're as versatile as you might want, Marda. They have the upright and a very good small canister, but I hear you saying you want one machine.

This is the best vacuum cleaner I've ever had...and the most expensive, except I got it for $25 at the Thrift Store. I guess someone didn't like it! I love it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 5:49PM
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I've had the same Orek for many years, I love it, but Sheila is right about your wanting a one shot deal.
The Orek is very light weight but it does have that smell
everyone hates.

I'm thinking of getting one of those little Robot thingys.
I have several friends and relatives that have them and love
them. With all the hardwood floors now the dust bunnies are every where.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:03PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I have an old passed down Oreck. I love it. A friend of mine went through numerous vacuums until I finally convinced her to actually spend real money on an Oreck. She loves it, and we've not had to go look for another vacuum since.

I've heard good things about Dyson too, I just don't have any experience with them.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:45AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I think the trick with bagless is, don't try emptying it into the kitchen trash can or something. I take the canister from mine, and dump it directly into the outdoor garbage bin. That way, there's no mess or dust in the house.

I'll have to look when I get home, beacuse right now I can't even remember what brand mine is. But, I really like mine. It's got a special pet-hair attachment that works really well on the stairs and the hose is really stretchy and long. AND, it wasn't very expensive. I think it was on sale when I got it and I ended up paying right at $150 for it, if I remember correctly.

But, I will confess that I do keep one vaccuum downstairs and another one upstairs, just so I don't have to lug it back and forth. I have a bag-Hoover (bought for me by my mother when I first moved out) that I keep upstairs, which is all hardwood floors. It has an extra-low setting, so it works good and has great suction with the attachments.

Downstairs we have hardwood and carpet, and the one I can't remember the brand of, works really good down there too.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:47AM
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wendy_cat(zone 6)

at one point we had two of sears' top of the line vacs. one for upstairs and one for down. both were canisters. they caused us nothing but problems from day one.
we have finally replaced them with the kenmore progressive ( WHY do we keep going back there!?) and so far they are really great. half the price as our other vacs and better sucking power i think. they seem to have a really high pitched whine to them, which i dont care for. but for the money, i can live with that.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:05AM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

I love my Dyson. It's the miracle vacuum as far as I'm concerned & love the fact that it's bagless. I dump mine into a bin in the garage so that there's no dust in the house. And I've never had any problem cleaning it. To paraphrase Charlton Heston, they'll have to pry my Dyson from my cold, dead hands.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:54AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

lisa ~ whole house systems are expensive to install. Not so much for the parts but for the labor. They are basically tubes installed inside the walls, connecting to the equivalent of a very powerful shop vac which is placed in the basement or a garage. People love them because: the dust is sucked outside the living area; they are quiet (the motor noise is where the vac cannister is); the hoses are considerably lighter weight than the lighest regular vacuum -- and if one has hose-in-the-wall, there is no hauling or storing.

I honestly don't know how much it would cost to have someone install in a house that's already built, but no doubt that depends on the accessibility to the walls. For new houses, depending on the model purchased, I think the average cost is about $4K for a 3000 sq ft house. Link is to a quick overview, I notice it gives DIY pricing that is MUCH less. Many years ago, an older brother installed a system DIY, and commented that he had spent about $100 more than I did for a standard commercial Hoover.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whole house vacuum systems

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 7:14AM
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Thanks for all the info you' ve given me. I did a lot of online surfing to a gazillion sites and read what repair people had to say,owners of the vaccums had to say and reviews. I narrowed it down to Dyson and Miele neither one cheap with Miele being the more expensive. I finally went with a Miele because it suits my needs perfectly due to all the different cannister models from which to choose depending on what you want it to do. I spent more than I thought I would but since I'm replacing two vaccumes with one,I can rationalize it...I think.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 7:57AM
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I have a Dyson. It's a great vacuum, and emptying it is no bother. I wash the filter once every six months (I don't think it's actually dirty though - but the instructions say to do it).

Since I also have several Miele's, I can compare bag to bagless. Bagless allows me to get rid of the dirt after each use. Bag cleaners do not. I don't like 'storing' my dirt in the closet - so bagless is the way to go for pet hair problems.

I understand the differences between Dyson cleaners and other bagless vacs. The way it works is different. Apparently, spinning the air at high speeds throws the dust out of the air stream through the cleaner. Other bagless vacs have a filter in the middle of the dirt bucket, like my Shop Vac, that clogs immediately with dust, and is a filthy mess to empty. If you get a bagless, get a Dyson.

That said, the Miele is very quiet. But the bag does start to stink after holding dirt for a while, the dirt itself just deteriorates inside there. And there's food particles and God knows what else in there, all sitting in the warm, dark closet until we take out the machine next week and blow air through the bag. That's why bag vacs smell so bad. If you changed the bag every time that you vacuum, no smell. Hence the reason I like my Dyson so very much.

By the way, Dyson makes canister vacs too. With an excellent bare floor tool and a power brush for your carpets, and a turbo brush for your stairs. Easy to empty. DC23 is the model number.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:10PM
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I have had a central vac in my last two homes and really love it. I feel it would be worth the cost to install instead of buying a new vac every few years at $500 to $700.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 10:59AM
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I started this thread a year ago and one of my posts thanked everyone for their help and said that I finally bought a vaccum cleaner. That was Feb 08.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 8:18AM
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In case anyone else reads this NOT go with the Simplicity! It's a pretty vacuum, but it's unbelievably, ridiculously heavy and clunky. I come from a long line of vacuum cleaner fanatics, and the Simplicity really appealed to my intellect: the parts inside are mostly metal, so they are far less likely to break. I thought this would justify the heaviness of the machine but it really doesn't.
Worse, the attachment hose broke in less than a year.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 4:32PM
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I bought a slightly used Bissell at a garage sale for $100.00 about a month ago, and I just love it. It has several filters, all but the Hepa filter are washable, but they say on their website that I can buy a washable filter.
It has an automatic cord rewinder, see through canisters, and no bags. The suction power is very good. The user guide is easy to follow and it is easy to order new parts.

One drawback is that it is a heavy machine. We live in a two story house and it is a drag to get the machine up and down the steps. I should be a two Bissell owner.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 7:45PM
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I had a Kenmore Progressive and I loved the visual aspect of the display. It encouraged me to keep vacuuming - like the tooth tablets, as someone else said. Was that display - it was for the dirt sensor - actually honest and reliable? I don't know, since it often seemed to keep showing red (very dirty) in an area of our laminate floor that I *knew* was clean! But it was still an encouragement to vacuum! My dh got a kick out of the light show. It seemed to do a good job, and yes emptying the dirt holder was messy, but I did it outside. Cleaning the filter was incredibly dusty though. No neat way to do that. And - I didn't like having to go to Sears for new filters, although I suppose I could look for them online.

I seem to have ruined that vacuum by using it to clean our wood stove - found out today that ash will burn out a vacuum motor. (sigh) But I thought it was worth the price - did a great job on cat hair.

Now I've ordered a Shark Navigator and a Cougar Ash Vacuum. I've never used an ash vacuum - I hope this works out for us. And - the Shark sounds like it'll be good - ? It seems widely available, which is a plus - should make getting any parts/filters more easy. It's also moderately priced, which I like.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 11:05PM
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I bought the Miele Blue Moon S658 for all the features, hepa filter, etc. It turned out to be an endless source of problems. Every time I'd pick it up from the vacuum shop, I thought I was good to go. Then something else went wrong. The replacements and repairs have now cost more than the vacuum (well over $1,000). So I appreciate the other experiences, and my suggestion is to be careful with the Miele. I'm going to shop now for a different brand and trash the Miele.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 8:16PM
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