OK, few retail products impress me any more. Like most people, I believe they truly don’t make them like they used to. In terms of longevity, I find that manufacturers are making things cheaper so that they break more easily and force consumers to shell out full price for a new model rather than a few bucks for a small part.
This has been my experience with the vacuums we’ve owned since just before getting married. That was until I met Dyson.
Mostly, we’ve either had a Dirt Devil or a Hoover, and they were, admittedly, at the lower end of the product lines — chosen for their lower prices. I knew we couldn’t expect the 20-year life span of the Electrolux, but 20 months would have been nice. Invariably, within six months of purchase, either Sue or I would find ourselves in the throes of disassembling our vacuum on the living room rug to retrieve a clog of carpet fluff or to replace a drive belt. Ultimately, the vacuum would return disappointing results, and I always wondered if we spent another hundred bucks, would we really see improved performance? It was a gamble we weren’t really inclined to take.
Out of necessity, last fall, I bought a lightweight Dirt Devil for $45. It was the best vacuum I had owned in years, and the thing was basically as a Dust Buster on wheels. It really showed results on the wall-to-wall. I was impressed because it was small and cheap, and it really worked well. It was bagless and used a similar cyclone technology I had seen in Dyson commercials. But I knew it wouldn’t cut it in our new house.
That got me to thinking about the type of vacuum I wanted when we moved into our new house. I wanted a Dyson, but they were so expensive that they seemed almost prohibitive. The thought of living with another chintzy sucker didn’t appeal to me, and I started to consider how much we had spent on vacuums in 5 years. It was probably close to the cost of a Dyson. And, in my research, I found Dyson offered a 5-year warranty. I thought if this thing lasts one day beyond five years, I’ll be happy.
I had this 20 percent off coupon to Bed, Bath and Beyond laying around, so I went and bought the Dyson DC17 Animal. It’s called the animal because it is supposedly designed to pick up pet hair. I saved over $100!
This thing amazes me. Even after having our carpets cleaned before moving in, the family room carpet, though only two years old, was pretty shabby. The cleaning took out the dinginess, but traffic areas were still very visible. The cleaning man told me it was likely the previous owners vacuumed very infrequently. I was sure we were going to have to replace it because it was so bad.
Enter Dyson. I vacuumed the family room, and had to empty the container right away. That’s not because it’s a small bin. The thing can probably hold a gallon of junk. The carpet was just that dirty, even after being professionally cleaned. The second time I vacuumed, the bin was filled halfway, bringing out more dirt, and we weren’t walking on the carpet with shoes!
Today I vacuumed the upstairs for the second time with the Dyson, and I had to empty the bin twice — just like the first time.
Best of all, the carpet pile looks a lot better. The traffic areas don’t look as defined as they once did. And it seems like we won’t have to replace the family room carpet as quickly as I thought.