“Upright Vacuum” isn’t exactly a creative name for GE’s gold-colored vac. I guess it’s better than the model number (169171). I bought the vacuum at WalMart several months ago when my lemon (a Dirt Devil) died. I had only a few qualifications and I’d be happy:
small amperage use
actually vacuumed floors
I don’t know why vacuums are generally very poorly made. I haven’t had a good, solid, quality vacuum in about 25 years, when Sears and GE made them in this country. All the vacuums seem to be made of cheap plastic and fragile moving parts. We usually replace our vacuum every year or two, and that’s a LOT to add to the credit cards for a $50 to $100 appliance.
The GE has three separate filters, all very small. One is a HEPA filter about the size of an index card. The other two filters are small plastic foam filters. The HEPA must be replaced every month ($10) but the plastic foam filters are washable– you just rinse them out.
Two positive and two negative things stand out with this vacuum. For one, it’s a pretty powerful vacuum at 10amps and 120 volts. It does a good job on low shag (or no shag carpets). It picks up dirt from my indoor-outdoor carpeting like no other vacuum has before.
The HEPA filter idea is nice, even though it’s small. The monthly cost of $10 is a little steep. My floors are not all carpeted so I think I can stretch the time span a little.
Negatively, the machine has an adjustable handle, but it’s a joke. It wobbles so bad that the vacuum is unstable. So the handle must be kept at a short-height setting. And the dirt container (with “dual cyclone action”) does not stay in the vacuum. One of the kids was carrying the vacuum down the stairs, holding the handle in the front. The handle is part of the dirt container. It popped out of the latch and the vacuum went tumbling down the stairs. The vacuum was amazingly not broken! But we now know that you can’t use the front handle… so it’s awkward to carry.
My daughter does the vacuuming in the house. She is mildly satisfied with the GE Upright Vacuum, but there are a few glaring blemishes. Here is her list of pros and cons:
Has a height adjuster in the handle
Uses a filter, not a bag
Has a hose and attachments
Works better than a broom…
Shiny gold paint (put it in the corner and guests will never guess it’s a vac!)
Vacuums short carpets well
Adjustable handle is wobbly and unstable
Does not vacuum corners well (too thick and bulky)
Dirt container empties from the bottom, so it’s awkward and messy
Cord is not long enough
Tools are a little loose and rickety in their places
Does not vacuum thicker carpets well
So the consensus is… we’ll probably be looking for another vacuum in a year or two. I have yet to find the “perfect” vacuum. Maybe instead of the stores, I should try the garage sales and look for an old Kirby or Kenmore….