Amazon Review by Prophet
488 people found the following review helpful
Hoover Windtunnel 3 Pro Pet
Finally, after over 4 months of owning the Hoover Windtunnel 3 Pro Pet upright vacuum, I feel justified in writing a review of it. I hate the reviews that say, "I ordered it, just got it, looks good!" Especially in an appliance like a vacuum, my number one priority is longevity of the machine! Having owned just one vacuum the last 10 years, an old Hoover Windtunnel T2, I was happy with Hoover and decided to stay with that brand if I could. I looked into Shark Navigators, and glanced at Dysons, recommended by my neat-freak friend (who recommends them because of their great customer service - but since they had had the Dyson only a couple of years, and had already HAD to use the customer service several times, I just couldn't justify the price! My husband is a Mr.-Fix-It, and I am also a bit of a "DIY-er", so for me, a machine we could patch up ourselves, at least for the easy stuff, seemed the way to go.) I was turned off from the Sharks because of the price tag and because the only 2 complaints that people repeated over and over about them were my 2 biggest pet peeves for a vacuum: top-heaviness, and a stiff, inflexible, short hose.
I seriously considered the Hoover Air Steerable and then the Hoover Air Pro, but was concerned about complaints that there was no manual switch for carpet height. So, right before Christmas, I saw this little Windtunnel 3 on sale for $100. I thought it was the ugliest looking machine ever, I tried to justify buying the $200 Hoover Air Pro instead, and I finally bit the bullet and went the cheaper route. I am SO glad I did.
Here’s a breakdown of the details:
Looks: It looks WAY better in reality than it does in the picture. It’s slimmer, and much smaller than I expected. Online, I thought the blue and red together looked tacky. When it came out of the box, I thought it looked great.
Assembly: So easy. Anyone who would have trouble with it either got a manufacturer’s mistake or else is an idiot. Sorry, but it’s true.
Attachments: Good. We have a black lab. It picks up pet hair. I don’t use the pet hair attachment much because I’m afraid of it breaking (small, not-too-strong rubber-band-ish belts in it). The really essential attachment is the extension, and the “crevice tool”. Imperitive, because the hose is…very short indeed. Stretchy, but short. The other attachment is a rubbery-ended normal short attachment…easy and kinda boring.
Vacuuming: It has great suction, and I love the manual carpet height adjuster. Strangely, I get the feeling that the brushes vacuum a VERY slightly narrower path than my previous Hoover did. I don’t know if this is my imagination or not. It still vacuums well. But it does bother me just a little bit. Like a half-inch bit. What bothers me more is the squeaky wheel. After about the 3rd time using the vacuum, it developed a squeaky wheel. It’s incredibly annoying. I’m sure not every one of the machines will squeak like mine does, but still… (the wheels seem just a little bit on the flimsy, plastic side. Not that I’m worried about them breaking off or anything, but…)
But let me reiterate the positive: this vacuum has taken on anything and everything I have thrown at it. And I admit, I am NOT NICE to my vacuums. About a month before we ordered this Hoover, we got an indoor wood stove, which we put in our carpeted living room. Not a smart move, but it was where it needed to be to heat the house. The wood chips, ashes, more ashes, dirt, more wood chips, that this vacuum has taken fearlessly on is pretty astounding. Add to this the pet hair, and the cereal and other junk from 3 very active, dirt-smudged boys, not to mention the husband who likes to eat his snacks, etc, in the living room…you get the idea. So much stuff to pick up. It handles it all.
The cord: the biggest drawback for this machine is that it comes with the retractable. If you are considering a new vacuum cleaner, let me beg of you: never, ever, EVER shell out MORE money for a “retractable cord” vacuum!!! IT"S NOT WORTH IT, PEOPLE!!! In case you have lived on linoleum or hardwood your entire life until now, let me enlighten you. Retractable cords don’t really retract. I have never met one that lasted more than 5 vacuuming sessions. Call me crazy, but I find it so much simpler to let down the cord, plug it in…vacuum…unplug, and wrap it back up, than to: pull out cord, plug it in, vacuum, push retract button…pull out cord to regain tension, push button again…pull on cord for tension…push button again…over and over until there’s about a foot of cord left, then angrily shove last foot of cord into the machine, muttering curses. if this machine had not been a measly $100 including shipping and tax, I would have skipped it just to avoid the cord issues I knew would come up. As it is, though, I can’t really complain, except in internet reviews. Because I went into eyes open. Because retractable cords just don’t work for long. You’ve been warned.
Clean up: Easy!!! Other reviewers are right: the drop-down bottom is a little messy if you don’t have the entire canister practically buried in your trash can. The HEPA filter is easy to remove and rinse, which I have done once so far. (They recommend rinsing it out once every 2 months - guess I’m due again) Another, 3rd way to clean it was something I didn’t know about when I bought it, and took me a while to discover, but it is so helpful. People are right that if you overfill the dirt collector, it can get stuck in the top of the plastic canister. But to clean it, you do NOT need to reach your hand inside, as other reviewers suggest. Instead you just twist the plastic canister away from it’s top, and it comes apart. Then you can rinse the canister and wipe off the filter, to clean it. It’s simple, and the instruction are right on the canister in case you forget.
So, a summing up: If you can get it for under $125 or so, go for it. It does it’s work. It has held up for 4 months to my overload of junk and dirt and every mess imaginable. Unless your #1 pet peeve is a squeaky wheel.