Avg. consumer rating = 80/100
The Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 was just released in April of this year. It is a cordless, lightweight upright that is somewhere between a stick vac and a full size vacuum - perhaps best described as a mid-size, cordless upright. It comes with 2 long-life batteries so run time is excellent and the machine is very easy to maneuver. The hose and wand assembly is awkward however and a few owners report that the tools are not particularly high quality.
Hoover has added some very nice touches to let customers know that they are paying attention. They provide not 1 but 2 batteries and these arrive partly charged so you can use the machine right away. In addition, there are 2 filters so when one has been cleaned and is drying (which can take up to 24 hrs) you can use the other. Hoover customer service also seems to be on the ball with many owners reporting that their concerns were immediately addressed.
We found over 1800 consumer ratings for the vacuum and when averaged these generate a score of 80 out of a possible 100 (or about 4 stars out of 5). This is a respectable figure but not stellar. You can compare it to scores for other uprights here or other stick vacs here. In addition, we should point out that we have included ratings for the BH50140 and the BH50120 in the table below. This is because both models are the same and there is a small difference in the tool set.
|Amazon||4 stars out of 5||1105|
|Walmart||4.1 stars out of 5||8|
|Home Depot||3.8 stars out of 5||336|
|Consumer Reports||3.7 stars out of 5||3|
|Best Buy||4.0 stars out of 5||382|
|Costco||4.3 stars out of 5||3|
|JC Penney||4.6 stars out of 5||9|
|Abt||4.6 stars out of 5||19|
|Overstock||4.4 stars out of 5||10|
A thorough review of owner comments has revealed the following vacuum likes and dislikes:
- Comes with 2 batteries
- Very maneuverable and easy to steer
- Dust canister is easy to empty
- Not too loud
- Respectably long battery life
- Comes with bright LED headlights
- Long warranty
- Compact and small footprint
- Hose seems cheaply made
- Hose is too short
- Awkward design for using the hose & wand
- Tools are not great quality
- Edge cleaning is not very good
One of the things we notice with this vacuum is that it is a little hard to classify (stick vac or upright) and as a result, owners sometimes have a difficult time making comparisons. The machine can be seen as falling short in some areas when it is compared to a full size, corded upright but it can also be seen to excel when compared to a cordless stick vac. This is worth being aware of when reading customer reviews and ratings. For the record Hoover call this a full size, cordless upright.
With respect to consumer comments there are plenty related to how well the vacuum moves. The swivel nozzle head moves with a twist of the wrist and owners report that it is easy to maneuver the vacuum around furniture.
Owners are also impressed by the fact that Hoover provides 2 filters and 2 batteries with the BH50140. This is smart thinking on Hoovers part and it has made many a consumer feel that Hoover has gone that extra mile on their behalf.
There are, however, comments that the dust canister is small. Some owners report having to empty the dust canister frequently because it fills too quickly. Indeed the dust canister does have limited capacity but there should be some consideration that this is not a large vacuum cleaner.
The hose is also short and quite a number of folks feel that the hose and wand setup is awkward and difficult to work with. The hose, even combined with the wand and attachments, does not provide much in the way of cleaning reach.
Also there are a few owners who feel the vacuum is not as powerful as they would like (although others feel that it has more than adequate suction). This is probably in part due to expectations. Those expecting the suction of a corded full size upright may be disappointed while those expecting the suction of a cordless stick vacuum may feel otherwise.
Most owners agree that for cleaning a large house this isnt really the best tool a full size, corded vacuum would be the better choice. And while the vacuum works well on carpet it doesnt work as well on carpet as a corded, larger and more powerful full size vacuum would.
People do like that the vacuum has a small footprint and is compact and easy to store. They also appreciate the light weight of the machine.
Only one tool stores on-board the vacuum and, to some owners dismay, it has a tendency to get dislodged and fall to the floor. The tools themselves also fit on the end of the wand using friction. They do not click-fit into place. Typically click-fit provides a more secure connection.
Finally, a number of consumers report that the machine turns itself off if the brushbar is obstructed. This is a good feature and is generally there to help save the brushbar motor and/or belt. The vacuum can be turned back on after some time.
You can read more customer reviews on Amazon if you wish.
Features & Specifications
The Hoover Air comes with LithiumLife batteries. These provide fade-free power which means they will deliver power evenly without dropping until such time as they are exhausted. Hoover provides 2 batteries - one can be used in the vacuum while the other is being charged. Each battery has about 25 minutes of run time so with two batteries the Hoover boasts 50 minutes of run time. In the world of stick vacs getting 25 minutes on a battery is quite good and having two batteries provided by the manufacturer, while not unprecedented, is not common.
A battery level indicator tells you how much charge is left on the battery. Press the blue button on the bottom of the battery to check the charge. One blue light means the battery is 25% charged, 2 blue lights is 50% charged and 3 blue lights is 75% charged see image to right.
To fully charge the battery takes about 3 hours and while charging the light on the charger is solid blue. The light turns off when the battery is fully charged. It is okay to leave the battery in the charger as it will not overcharge.
Below you can see a short but useful video from Hoover on how to manage your batteries and battery charger.
Hoover claims that each battery should provide enough power to clean about 1250 square feet of flooring. So with 2 batteries the claim becomes 2500 square feet of flooring. However, if you have 2500 square feet to clean most owners would agree that you may be better off using a full size, corded vacuum.
The Hoover Air Cordless uses Windtunnel 3 Technology. Hoover is somewhat vague about this particular technology but the 3 apparently stands for 3 channels of suction. They also indicate that normal WindTunnel technology only has one channel of suction
The vacuum uses cyclonic technology. This technology involves sending the air stream through cyclonic cylinders which spin the air very rapidly in a spiral path. As the air spins the dust and debris are forced out via centrifugal force and into the dust canister. Cyclonic technology provides no loss in suction as the dust canister fills (as opposed to a bagged vacuum where suction can drop as the bag fills) and it helps to keep filters cleaner longer.
This is a bagless vacuum cleaner and the dust canister is bottom release and quite easy to empty. The canister also has a 1.05 liter capacity which is fairly small and there are some consumer grumblings to this effect.
The reusable, washable filter is located inside the dust canister and is easy to access. It can be cleaned with tap water and when fully dry inserted back in the vacuum. Hoover highlights that the filter should be cleaned about every 2 months. You should probably clean it even more frequently if you vacuum a lot or if you vacuum particularly dirty areas. It is worth noting that the filter is not HEPA.
The unit has a brushroll on/off button (Carpet/Hard-floor button) which allows you to stop or start the brushroll in the nozzle head. In most cases the brushroll is on when cleaning carpet and off when cleaning bare floors although it can be left on when cleaning bare floors if the floor does not have a particularly delicate surface. The brushroll is easily removed for cleaning and it can also be swapped out as Hoover provides a special additional brushroll made specifically for hard floors. This brushroll has extra soft bristles.
One of the major complaints about the BH50140 is the hose and wand assembly. It is indeed a rather bizarre setup. The hose disconnects from the bottom of the machine and the wand is attached to that end of the hose (see image to right). The result is a very short reach and some owners report that it limits the cleaning to furniture and perhaps a small set of stairs. Overhead cleaning can be a problem.
The Hoover Air Cordless Series 3.0 includes two tools:
- Pivoting Dusting Tool
- 2-in-1 Cleaning Tool
With the hose, wand and tools the machine doesnt have much more than a 6 or 7 foot cleaning reach.
Again, the BH50140 is somewhere between a stick vac and a full size vacuum. It weighs just under 10 lbs which is quite light for a full size upright but a little heavy for a stick vacuum. Most owners report that the machine is lightweight however, so that may be an indication that many do not really see it as a stick vac.
Consumers also feel that the vacuum steers very easily and this is the result of what Hoover call Steerable Technology. This technology is designed to allow the machine to Navigate smoothly around furniture, corners and other obstacles by simply twisting the handle in the direction you'd like to go. In this department the machine does exactly what it was designed to do.
Additional vacuum features include 2 LED headlights that help when cleaning in poorly lit areas, a cleaning path width of 11 inches, and a carry handle. The Hoover Air carries a lengthy 5-year warranty.
You can check out the Hoover Air manual here if you like. It is reasonably well written and has descriptive graphics.
|Nigel Russco has been writing for Vacuum Cleaner Advisor for years and has a background in business and engineering, as well as a keen interest in anything related to vacuum cleaners. Connect with Nigel on Google+|