|Hoover and vacuum are almost synonymous terms. But is Hoover’s reputation riding on its coattails these days rather than on its quality? Many consumers think that’s the case. There is lots of variety in the type of machine you get from Hoover these days. Maybe they have the vacuum style you need.|
The Hoover Company started out in Canton, Ohio, in 1907. The company’s manufacturing plant is still located there, although new owner Techtronic Industries plans to close it in September, 2007. The first electric floor vacuum cleaner was invented by a janitor named James Murray Spangler. He had asthma and suspected that cleaner floors might help his ailment.He was right.
Spangler lent his invention to the wife of W. H. “Boss” Hoover, a leather goods tycoon. Hoover bought the manufacturing rights from Spangler in 1908 and started the Hoover Company, retaining the inventor as business partner.
Today, Hoover is synonymous with vacuum cleaners, and floor care in general. The company makes myriad vacuum cleaners in upright, canister, bag and bagless varieties; central vacuum cleaner systems; carpet shampoo systems; hard floor cleaners; shop vacuums; handheld and lightweight “stick” vacuum cleaners.
One of the best-selling Hover vacuum cleaners is the patented Wind Tunnel(TM) line. This upright or canister design features a set of specially designed air ducts that create a tornado-like vortex of air in the bagged or bagless collection chamber much like the Dyson vacuum cleaner. The whirling air keeps dirt and dust suspended so it will not fall back onto the floor, according to Hoover. The Wind Tunnel includes a HEPA filter and a second, “final” filter. Both filters can be removed for washing.
The futuristic Constellation canister Hoover vacuum cleaner floats along on a cushion of air! There are no wheels to get stuck or squeak. It, too, features HEPA filtration and a powerful, 12 amp motor.
The clever Z-fol(TM) Hoover vacuum cleaner has a body that is hinged in two places. Fully extended, it’s a powerful upright vacuum cleaner. Folded, it’s a compact canister vacuum cleaner that can be maneuvered in tight places and stores easily.
There’s even a $60 Hoover Vacuum cleaner that delivers great bang for the buck. The Hoover Tempo Widepath bagged vacuum cleaner may be the best budget vacuum cleaner.
The variety of Hoover vacuum cleaners is somewhat overshadowed by the variety of opinions that consumers have about them. Some models seem to be reliable workhorses, while others have been plagued by reliability problems. Many consumers on Amazon.com complain of belts breaking on the Hoover Savvy(TM) model U174-900, whose belt is marketed as having “lifetime” durability. A recent History Channel program featured a Hoover executive explaining that Hoover aims for a service life of 300 to 500 hours, which translates into 5 to 10 years of normal use, he says. Tellingly, Hoover vacuum cleaners come with only a two-year warranty, and the company does not offer a tollfree warranty service phone number.
Hoover vacuum cleaners are a world-class brand. Some of its models do an excellent job. Unfortunately, product durability and reliability seem to have fallen by the wayside as the company has changed hands over the decades. It remains to be seen how ownership by China-based Techtronic will affect Hoover vacuum cleaners.