My poor vacuum
November 19, 2011 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Should I buy a new vacuum?

I've had my current vacuum (a Hoover WindTunnel) since 2006. In the last year or two, it's been in the shop 3 times, and needs to go again. At $50 a pop, I could have had a shiny new vacuum by now.

I think my options are to (a) buy a new vacuum, or (b) try a different repair shop and cross my fingers. The repair shop we've been going to is the official Hoover service center, and the guys that work there have always given me a pretty positive feeling about their competence.

How long do you expect a vacuum to last, and how much maintenance should it require? Which of the two above options would you choose?
posted by colin_l to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can buy a decent vacuum for the $200 this one is costing you in repairs.

We did a similar calculation earlier this year, and it's so much nicer to deal with a vacuum that just works when we need to it work.
posted by rtha at 10:58 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Wow, we've had our Hoover for over 10 years with nary a blip. I'd say you're paying too much in repair. Time for a new one.
posted by blurker at 11:21 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: $50 for a repair? They can't be doing anything more complicated than replacing a belt at that price. Why don't you just do it yourself? That is sort of my philosophy with household appliances. If I can fix it for a minimal investment in parts, I do. Otherwise, I replace, because I can usually buy new for the cost of a repair.
posted by COD at 11:51 AM on November 19, 2011

Best answer: New vacuum time. Years ago when I was researching vacuums, the ones that had the best reliability were European. I ended up buying a Miele (not that particular model, but similar to it) and it's been a dream to use. Trouble-free and quiet; it's never needed to go to the shop ever. My only complaint is that the replacement bags are kind of expensive, but there are non-OEM brands that work almost as well.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:02 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Buy a Dyson. If you are not willing to spend the full price on a Dyson, check out the remanufactured section on their website.
posted by helloworlditsme at 12:21 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding LuckySeven~ I've had my Miele cannister vac since 1997! It still works like it did when I first got it, and it's not ugly, which makes me happy. I've had it tuned up and changed the head (I think I paid $80 for that: they cleaned the heck out of it and it came back to me like out-of-the-box new) once, and that's it. Good ol' German engineering!

When I bought mine, I was told it had a 16-year life expectancy, though I think they say more like 20+ years now. I've never regretted this ($500) purchase. I buy the off-brand bags for it through Amazon, and they work totally fine, they're just a lot cheaper. One huge plus: it's super easy to clean my ceilings and ceiling fans with it because it's so lightweight.
posted by heyho at 12:24 PM on November 19, 2011

I'll third the Miele brand...I've owned this Rose Art light vacuum for five years and have been coveting the Cat and Dog. Couldn't afford the latter for our carpets, so I bought this through my office supply company. Wow! It's serious business, made for the hotel trade.(50-foot cord!) mega-suck.
It's made in Mexico rather than Germany, and it's not as pretty as the Miele, but I'm shallow that way.
posted by BostonTerrier at 12:57 PM on November 19, 2011

I had a Hoover Windtunnel and it was a pain and half to change the belt when it broke. So I bought a remanufactured Dyson and it was worth every penny. We only have carpet in one room, and the carpet was pretty old and gross when we bought our house two years ago, and I swear it looks better than ever now.
posted by Ruki at 5:30 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I too have a remanufactured Dyson and it's the best thing EVER. However, you will be disgusted the first time you use it and you see all the gunk it picks up that your other vacuum didn't. It's horrifying.

I seriously love that vacuum.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 12:07 AM on November 20, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all. We bought a Dyson based on these and other recommendations. Glad to know I'm not the only one frustrated with the Windtunnel.
posted by colin_l at 6:39 AM on November 20, 2011

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