I don't know if it is planned obsolescence, if I am buying the wrong kind of machine at the wrong stores, or if I'm just particularly hard on equipment, but it seems like I can't keep a vacuum cleaner alive for more than 3 years. I feel so terrible about it! It feels very wasteful and it makes me ashamed. I need a workhorse that can clean up massive sheds from my lab, plus everything my 4 kids track in. Do you have any ideas? Orr ideas on how to make a regular $150-$200 vacuum from Target to live longer?
We ended up buying a Dyson Animal in 2005 and it is holding up great. We love it, and we have a kid and 2 cats now, and it hasn't faltered. It is outside your price range, but I think that the more expensive vacuums just last better.
Adina mama to B 4/06 and E 8/13/12 (on her due date!)
Another vote for Dyson. We got one of the animal versions way back when they first came out, years ago, and it is still going strong. I like it so much, I bought another for our cottage.
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
Love love love our Dyson Animal! It's the best - plus, we have a smaller home and it is sooo easy to maneuver around and under things (with the ball - you seriously just flick your wrist). It can tackle anything (usually in one pass!) and it switches between the hardwood floors and carpets super easily. It's lightweight, and has a telescopic hose and tons of attachments if you need them. I love it.
Bonus - DS loves it too, and it reclines low enough that he can push it around the house already - granted, he is a GIANT, very strong 14 mo. old, but still! I'm not discouraging this particular obsession of his, haha ;-)
~ Lucky wife of DH and loving mama to DS (04/11) ~
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Some vaccuums are easy to get repaired, and some companies don't sell parts at all (definitely some planned obsolescense going on), but if you phone your local vacuum repair place before buying, they should be able to tell you which category the machine you're considering falls into. A lot of vacuum repair shops also sell machines if you're not too committed to buying at Target.
Get a dog... a beagle. They clean everything.
Nothing will ever beat my kerby. I have 2. One is almost as old as me!!! My mom bought it when I was 4 (I'm 26) and its still running and works GREAT with 5 dogs worth of hair! So a grand may seem pricey, but if it lasts 20 years its totally worth it. Also, if the sales man is desprate you can really get them to come down. I got my new one 2 years ago for more than $200 off the regular price. Also they sell refurbished ones.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
We bought our Oreck nearly 12 years ago (Aug 2000) and it is still going strong! We have a business Costco nearby and they sell the bags for less than anywhere I have seen. I do not know the price of an Oreck nowadays to know if it is within your price range, but averaging it over 12 years thus far certainly needs to be taken into account, yes?
The upright came with the canister vac and a car vac at the time. They all three are still in excellent condition. In the past 12 years, we have replaced bags on the upright and canister, one power cord on the upright (although, DH may have just shortened the original cord), and two belts on the upright. We use the upright at least twice as often as the canister and probably twenty times as often as the car vac. The Oreck has handled two different cats (one puked a lot, but had short hair and was declawed -- the other is very healthy, but has long hair and sheds nails a lot, too) and one full-time child (for 11 years) and part-time other kids (babysitting co-op in the toddler stage; many play dates, parties, and sleepovers in the school age range thus far) AND, most impressively, a lot of home improvement clean-up over the years.
We got a mini shop vac about 4 years ago, but still use one of the Orecks usually. (They are more convenient.) We got a Roomba on Woot.com for $155 including shipping and absolutely loved it! For 4+ years, the Roomba did the frequent vacuuming (maybe 3 times a week) of the main areas downstairs (living room, hallway, and kitchen). We replaced the battery once via Amazon, but have refused to do so again...the batteries averaged just over two years; something to keep in mind. YMMV
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa
Another Dyson fan here. I bought mine about five years ago (I think?) and it works great. Love that it's bagless, and love that it's pretty intuitive to fix or unjam. I had to replace the extension hose recently, but it's otherwise going strong.
- single homeschooling mom to 16, 15, 12, and 10
Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD and spending my days
I absolutely LOVE our DYSON! We had cheaper ones for years and finally borrowed a friends after she raved about it. After trying it and seeing the difference, we had to save and buy it.
It's so worth every penny we spent. I believe we paid about $400 and that was about 3 years ago. It's still going strong.
I got a Eureka at the Goodwill for $15 bucks and it's worked like a charm for many years now. Someone ditched it for some reason, despite it being in working order, so I got lucky, I guess. All it needed was a replacement filter, which I bought for $20 at the local service shop. I will second what an earlier PP said... service. If you service your vacuum cleaner regularly, and keep the filters and beaters clean, even a cheap one will last longer.