The Vacuum Update

It’s been about two months since I acquired my new vacuum, so I thought I’d have a check in. The short version of the story is that, yes, I am still happy with my new vacuum! Hooray.

Talking with my father about this the other day, I mentioned how one really doesn’t know if a new purchase was good until it’s been a few months. That gives you some time to actually use it, to notice little annoying things, to get the hang of it, to see how it feels. Of course, by then, if you hate whatever it is, it’s too late to do anything about it.

Some of the biggest purchases we make in life are things that we interact with only briefly before buying. A car, for example. You can take it on a test drive, but you won’t really know until you’ve driven it for a few months if you like it or not. A house. You walk through a few times, you poke and prod around, but it’s only once you’ve signed the paperwork and been handed the keys that you think to wonder why there’s only one outlet in the bedroom. All of these huge, momentous purchases, things we will live with for years, over in an instant.

Now, a vacuum is obviously a smaller scale item. I do, however, hope to be living with this vacuum for at least five years, so it would be nice if we can be friends.

But. Some things I have noticed.

  • The beater/brusher bar is quite robust. So robust, in fact, that it has gone a bit squirrely with the carpet a few times. If there’s a loose thread (thanks, cat), the beater bar will grab it and “brrrrrrt” there’s a weird gap in the carpet, or a tuft sticking out. Because the beater bar is not adjustable, I could see how this might be a problem for people who actually care about their carpets[1. My carpet was crappy when I moved in and I specifically asked that it not be replaced because, well, I needed a house right then and couldn’t wait and also I have cats. Three. Three cats and a carpet does not a pretty picture make. Also, I hate carpets.].
  • I don’t really like the way the cord is set up. The little loops that it winds around are set up in such a way that to pull out the wand attachment, the cord has to be totally taken off the vacuum. I am not explaining this very well. Basically, sometimes I just want to unloop a few loops of cord so that I am not tripping all over the cord. I can’t do this when I want to take the wand attachment out, because the cord tethers the wand attachment to the vacuum. Thus, I have to take all of the cord off and then it flops around everywhere and makes a nuisance of itself. Does that make sense? Gee, maybe I should make a video or something.
  • The filter, which is supposed to dry in 24 hours, does not. I washed the filter in January and it took over three days to dry. Needless to say, this was extremely annoying because my floors got monumentally disgusting in the meantime. I may buy a second filter so that this will not happen in the future.
  • I’ve noticed that it has a hard time picking up little nubbly things, like pieces of cat litter (thanks, cat!) and cat food (thanks, cat!). It will push them forward, but not necessarily suck them up. This mainly happens when the nubbly thing is in the margins of an area the vacuum can’t go; if it’s in, say, the middle of the floor, the vacuum picks it right up. If it’s near the wall or a bookshelf, though, no dice. It is kind of annoying, because I have to either pick up the nubbly thing, or nab it with the wand attachment.

That said, the Dyson is still really fun to use. I know that it sounds weird to say that about a vacuum, but there it is. It really does sort of push itself along, and it is immensely satisfying to see it picking up all sorts of stuff. The stuff then whizzes around inside the canister and it is delightful to watch. (Yes, I am weird, why do you ask?)

And it’s still really good at what it does. Granted, losing suction after only two months would be pretty irritating, so it’s not like it’s some sort of amazing feat that the vacuum is still performing well. Dyson doesn’t deserve any special points for making a product which continues to function for two months. But I do use it every day (see “three cats”). While my house is small, it can be a hairy place.

Speaking of cats, the feline members of the household still review the vacuum highly unfavourably. I’m not sure if they are just upset because the sound is different, or if there is something about the quality of the sound which they are not ok with. Loki growls at the vacuum when I take it out or put it away or do anything with it, really. The other day he got “stuck” in the kitchen and proceeded to throw quite a tanty because he was too terrified to run past me to get out of the kitchen.

Mr. Bell sometimes gives the vacuum a woeful look, as though he wants to be vacuumed, but knows that he will be unhappy if I actually do it. Obviously, since I brought the new vacuum home, it is my fault that he can no longer engage in one of his favourite activities, so he makes sure to look up hopefully when I open the closet and then glare pointedly when he sees that the Dyson has not magically turned back into the Hoover.

Shadow, of course, looks like someone pissed in his Cheerios all the time. That cat really should work for the IRS or something. He’s quite the auditor. He just glares sourly at everyone and everything all the time.