Friday, December 30, 2011

Bissell Cleanview Helix Review

I bought this vacuum to replace a Eureka upright that I had for more than 10 years. I hated to let that thing go because it never lost suction. But the cost of giving it a tune up became more than it was worth. So I stiffened my upper lip and bought a new vacuum. Let me be upfront and say that I don't trust the new vacuums on the market. They are either grossly overpriced or they turn to crap in a matter of months. Most people seem to simply tolerate them not working as well until they can stomach the idea of replacing the vacuum again. In all fairness the problem is that people don't take the time to maintain their vacuums. Vacuums have to be cleaned and tuned up just like everything else in this world that has a motor. 

When I went shopping I was looking at prices more than anything else. I was pretty much convinced that the quality of the newer vacuums isn't as great as it used to be. I found the Bissell Cleanview Helix for $78 at Target. It was normally about $150. It is a "bagless system" with more filters. It has a filter at the top of the vacuum where the attachment hose is linked. It has a filter in the main canister where the waste comes in. It has another filter under the main canister above the motor and one that cannot be washed outside the machine in the side. This is both a benefit and a flaw. 

I like being able to wash the filters. If I do so regularly and properly, the filters will last 12 months. That's a benefit because of convenience and the price. The flaw of the filters is that you have to wait until they are dry before you can use them again. It takes a very long time for the filters to dry. It took my filters a full 24 hours to dry. If you know anything about children and real Christmas trees, you know that in 24 hours you may not be able to see your carpeting by the time the filters dry. 

After about one month of using the vacuum, I found it was already losing suction. I was beyond irritated with this fact. I cleaned the brushes and the filters. I lived with the poor suction because I no longer had the receipt or the box. Then, this Christmas I found the vacuum spitting out the pine needles I just picked up back onto the carpet. I did what most of us never do, I read the owners manual. There I found that There is a tube that runs from under the hose tool to under the machine. It leads to the same opening that serves the brushes. I was told to use a broom handle to push the clog through. There was such a large clog in this hose I had to pull it it out with my hands first before the broomstick could work. I had two months worth of lint, hair, and pine needles in a large pile on my floor. Lesson learned, check for clogs regularly. The suction of the vacuum returned immediately. I was pleased. 

The vacuum is smaller than the Bissell carpet cleaners so it does make it easy on me to use as a short housewife. If you are taller than 5'7" you may have a back issue. It is very lightweight. It almost propels itself. There is a very bright light on the front which would be more useful if the vacuum laid flatter to reach under the bed or the coffee table with ease. It has an edge suction feature that leaves something to be desired. You know how you run the vacuum along the edge of the wall and it sucks up the debris by the base boards? It doesn't do that too well. I was spoiled with my Eureka. The cord is positioned on the right side of the unit. This makes for a great look but not for convenient use. I am right handed so the cord is always in my way. But there is a spot on the back where the cord should have been to secure the excess cord so it won't drag on the floor. 

Despite my irritations with the cord and the edge cleaner, I would recommend this vacuum to anyone looking to use a bagless vacuum.

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