Back when I was in ninth grade, we had something called School Service. One period per week, the students at the boys’ school I attended reported to the maintenance office for forty five minutes of “school keeping.” The head of maintenance, Mr. Turnipseed (not kidding) sat behind his desk and smiled at us benignly as we checked in and received our assignments, but perched on his desk was a huge rotary phone that he claimed was a direct line to the dean of students office. Step out of line, and the call would be in.
Our most common task was vacuuming out classrooms not in use. The vacuums were giant chromed industrial units, evidently carved out of pig iron judging from the weight. There was always something thrilling about switching on their powerful whining motors and watching the bags inflate. I guess it was about as close to driving as I got on a Tuesday in ninth grade.
I secretly thought Service was the best period of the week.
I still find vacuuming to be satisfying on some level, though it’s not as exotic as it was. Which is why I always appreciate it when Hoover sends over a new vacuum to test out. The most recent arrival was a Hoover Windtunnel Air, a lightweight bagless Multicyclonic upright that has about as much in common with the vacuums of my youth as Mr. Turnipseed’s rotary has with my iPhone.
Things have changed a lot in the last, hem, five or so years.
The Windtunnel Air is a really versatile little appliance, slim form and light weight with thoughtful features. Plenty of suction — enough to pull Halloween costume feathers off of a oriental rug — where they usually stick like velcro. The push button brushroll activator makes it easy to transition from carpet to bare floor — which we have to do a lot in our house.
I like the adjustable handle because I think it is a nod to dads — people of various heights do the cleaning in most households these days. It’s nice to see that acknowledged in design.
The built in tools are very sleek on this model. The handle converts to a pistol grip suction gun able to reach tough spots. The extended hoses inspired me to take on something the has been “bugging” me for some time — insects in light fixtures. Utilizing and storing the tools is very simple and space efficient. And the whole unit collapses down into a very small and tidy package.
When I first unboxed the Windtunnel Air and went to operate it for the first time, I kept searching for the foot release for the lower unit. Couldn’t find it anywhere. That’s because it doesn’t exist. To operate the vacuum, you place a foot on the lower unit (there an icon to show you where) and simply snap the handle back, engaging the brushroll. When you are finished, the handle snaps into the upright position with a satisfying click.
On quibble, I referred to the instructions, but couldn’t find any information on this feature and had to discover how it worked by trial and error.
A couple features found on our heavy duty Windtunnel Max that I missed on the Windtunnel Air, variable brush height and retractible cord. I found that the Air’s powerful suction got a little sticky on the short nap of an oriental rug. Also I love pushing the retractor button on the Max and watching it slurp up the cord like a fat dude finishing a plate of spaghetti. But these are the compromises you make when you want a really light and easy to store vacuum.
Overall, I thought the Windtunnel Air is ideal for families with a minimum of storage space and lots of stairs. It is powerful but compact and light, a capable every day vacuum that gives away a few features to larger models, but more than makes up for it.
The cool folks at Hoover have also given me a Presto 2-in-1 Cordless Stick to give away to one of my readers.
A couple ways to enter:
Tweet the following:
Hoover Friends & Family Event: 30% OFF + FREE SHIPPING sitewide at www.hoover.com! Use promo code: FRIENDS15. Ends Nov. 19! Shop Now!
Or head over to our Facebook page and share the Hoover post there.
Or you can pin the image found above to Pinterest.
The giveaway ends on Monday 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST time. Good luck!
Disclosure — Hoover gave me the vacuum I tested and the giveaway prize in consideration for this review.