Thread Number: 16157
Info on Hoover "Wind Tunnel" self-propelled vacuum
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Post# 172255   3/6/2012 at 23:47 (2,955 days old) by billybud21 ()        

Can anyone give me any feedback on the Hoover "Wind Tunnel" bagged, self-propelled vacuum? Is it decent -- not looking for investment grade or a high end machine, just want something to play with. Is it noisy? Does the drive work half-way decently?

Back story:

Two months before I was born my Mom purchased a Kirby Classic (1CB). Love at first site and I was hooked on Kirby from then on. However, when I purchased a G4, because it was self-propelled and I thought that was cool, I hated it. The whine from that damn transmission drove me nuts. I guess I was used to the older style, so I sold the G4 and bought a nice Heritage. Happy once again!

Post# 172256 , Reply# 1   3/6/2012 at 23:49 (2,955 days old) by szymonrules (Philadelphia, PA )        
They are...

szymonrules's profile picture
Pretty good vacs! They are'nt noisy and are pretty good in cleaning carpets, but OK on bare floors!

Post# 172261 , Reply# 2   3/7/2012 at 01:26 (2,955 days old) by TheBillbot ()        

Heavy vacuum to carry up and down stairs. I don't really think Self Propelled vacuums are all that cool, I mean, they do help in pushing a heavier vacuum. But I'm a sucker for Windtunnels, go for it.

Post# 172265 , Reply# 3   3/7/2012 at 03:32 (2,955 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
I have the original dark green version of that model, fantastic vacuum, heavy yes , not so great on bare floors but on carpets what a vacuum. I have 4 windtunnels even though they were not sold in SA

Post# 172266 , Reply# 4   3/7/2012 at 03:40 (2,955 days old) by Vacuumfreeeke ()        

It is rather loud, but it is extremely powerful. Changing belts is a nightmare. The short hose pulls tight and makes the machine hard to use, so if you are going to get one, I would recommend that you just get it for carpet cleaning and put any notions of using the attachments out of your head.... a shame because the turbo tool (the old one, not the one like the one in the picture) is one of the better ones I've experienced combined with the tremendous suction of that machine. Self-propel is a little jerky, but works well on anything but shag. Filtration leaves a lot to be desired.... not sealed, and the filter isn't HEPA, it's like the scrubbie side of a kitche sponge. It is a fun vacuum....

Post# 172268 , Reply# 5   3/7/2012 at 04:59 (2,955 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
my one has a proper pleated hepa filter

Post# 172297 , Reply# 6   3/7/2012 at 10:23 (2,955 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Excellent carpet cleaner! Very high suction for tool use, but it's only really practical for occasional dusting of "hip-level" surfaces like night-tables and chairs - the suction retracts the hose with a lot of force, so it is most practical for occasional cleaning of furniture. Using the two wands and the dusting brush, it's pretty good at doing baseboards and hard-to-get nooks and crannies hidden between pieces of furniture. The brush-roll on/off switch makes it very safe for use with tools and for bare-floor cleaning.

It is very heavy - so not the easiest to carry up a flight of stairs. But the self-propulsion makes this an excellent vac for those with lots of "acreage" of wall-to-wall carpeting in big living rooms and family rooms. It makes it a pleasure to vacuum as it requires very little effort to move the vac when in sp mode.

Horrible upholstery nozzle though! Very dangerous to use on delicate fabrics as the hose has no suction reduction valve, and the sharp plastic edges of the nozzle are dangerous for fabrics and stitching (use the little dusting brush instead...)

Post# 172305 , Reply# 7   3/7/2012 at 10:35 (2,955 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Hoover Windtunnel

All in all one of the good modern uprights.BUT if it is a version with the spring loaded flap that switches suction from floor to hose as handle is raised either turn and run away now or use until flap mechasnism fails and then take directly to dumpster.Most common customer misuse is setting height to low.

Post# 172312 , Reply# 8   3/7/2012 at 10:57 (2,955 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Jimmy - with this particular Hoover, the suction is never redirected to different pathways. Whether you are using it in "carpet cleaning" mode, or "above-the-floor-cleaning with tools" mode, the suction always flows through the on-board hose. :-)

Post# 172394 , Reply# 9   3/7/2012 at 17:50 (2,954 days old) by director12 ()        

Vacuumfreeke, how about buying a pleated filter for your Windtunnel. And even though it's not sealed, you might make an exception since it uses bags.

Post# 172401 , Reply# 10   3/7/2012 at 18:16 (2,954 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        
WindTunnel Bagless

The WindTunnel Bagless Twin Chamber (w/tower pleated HEPA filter) is the WT that diverts suction from base to hose when handle is upright, or vice-versa.

btw, I wish Hoover still make the old style turbo brush because the one shown is JUNK. And Hoover should put PLEATED HEPA filter on BOTH Self-Propelled & Non S/P WTs.

Why did they change for the not-so-good changes?

Post# 172406 , Reply# 11   3/7/2012 at 18:53 (2,954 days old) by r2d2 ()        
Ugly But What a Sucker

Its a bullet proof design that has in been in production basically unchanged for 15 years. One of the best carpet cleaners ever made. The hose suction is among the highest of all upright ever made. If you take care it it will last forever.

Post# 172450 , Reply# 12   3/8/2012 at 00:34 (2,954 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        

bimmer740's profile picture
The Windtunnel is a good vac and its been one of the top choices of Consumer Reports since it came out. I do find it to be pretty loud, but it does clean very well. Its heavy and akward to schlep up and down stairs as others mentioned because you must use the carrying handle. Two things to be aware of: 1) its got a very aggressive brush roll so I wouldn't use it on a delicate rug 2) if you were pleased with the Kirby's tech-drive, aside from the transmission whine, you may not like the Hoover's self propelled feature. I've found it to be jerky and akward to modulate, especially when you are used to Kirby's transmission. Overall its a great machine and its fairly inexpensive too. If you don't need to have the self-propelled version, the standard WindTunnel is a good alternative plus its weighs less and is quieter.

Post# 172543 , Reply# 13   3/8/2012 at 18:23 (2,953 days old) by lovecanisters ()        
Sam's Club Purchase...

I purchased the model you have pictured last June...not being a fan of uprights...I purchased on impulse and for the color...haha It's a decent machine but was taken back by the poor quality of Hoover products...I rarely use it and will most likely go to my mom, think she's on her 2nd or 3rd Windtunnel I'll give it to her as an upgrade...

My thread on it:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO lovecanisters's LINK

Post# 172734 , Reply# 14   3/10/2012 at 00:47 (2,952 days old) by billybud21 ()        

Thanks everyone for the great feeback and information! Brian, thank you for the link to your thread -- that was a great read.

Post# 172887 , Reply# 15   3/11/2012 at 22:03 (2,950 days old) by kenmorekid ()        

We had a self propelled bagless Windtunnel at work. It was an awful machine to use, very heavy, and cumbersome to use. The self-propel feature was very jerky, and on the back stroke ran over your feet! It also felt very cheap, like the rest of the vacuum! The switches at the bottom to control the brushroll and carpet height are made of very cheap plastic, and feel like they are going to snap when touched to slide. The suction at the floor was good, however when you switched it to the hose it was very lousy. The "hepa" filter was nothing more than a 1/2 inch pleated piece of paper! Yes, the design hasn't changed much in the past few years, but it seems that they could have changed some things to make it a little more user friendly and durable..if you want something cheap to play around with for fun I would advise you to get a Shark Navigator Lift-Away, price is a little cheaper than the Windtunnel, plus you get a better warranty, lighter (no reason for self propel) no expensive filters to replace, and better airfllow! That's just my 2cents!


Post# 172892 , Reply# 16   3/11/2012 at 23:08 (2,950 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

kirbysthebest's profile picture
My main complaint with Hoover power drive machines was they went too fast. I like to vacuum slower. The nice thing about Kirby's drive system is you van vary your speed.

Post# 172905 , Reply# 17   3/12/2012 at 00:37 (2,950 days old) by bimmer740 (Long Island, New York)        

bimmer740's profile picture
After reading kenmorekid's post, I completely forgot how many times I too ran over my foot with the SP WindTunnel. Like so many others here Iíve been using a vacuum from the time I could walk and I canít ever remember running over my foot with any machine, and certainly not one with such force that it would actually cause an injury. This problem added to the many reasons why I returned my machine just before the one month mark. I even cracked a toenail and started to bleed just from running over it with the Hoover.

I donít mean to totally knock the SP WindTunnel since it is a good machine, especially at its price point. However, since you have used a Generation Series Kirby, there is just no comparison when it comes to the two different self-propelled features. The SP feature is something that has obviously attracted so many people to this machine since it debuted, and probably why it has hardly changed after all these years, but it just didn't work the way I had hoped. With a Tech-Drive Kirby you can push as fast or as slow as you want and the vacuum responds the same way. Using the Kirby is like driving a nice car, but when you use the SP Hoover, itís hit or miss. I found it too hard to modulate when pushing the machine to justify purchasing the SP model compared to the more basic WindTunnel, which cleans just as well and is easier to carry and push because it weighs less. Maybe its an unfair comparison as the Kirby costs at least 5 times what the SP WindTunnel costs, but as collectors we pay close attention to these differences.

I was using my grandmotherís standard WindTunnel on Friday night to clean up after we had cake to celebrate her 91st birthday, and while I donít love the machine, for the $130 my grandfather paid for it, it really does clean the carpets well. One other minor but noteworthy feature on the standard WindTunnel is the NON-STRETCH hose. This hose is unlike the one that the SP model has which is awful to use, especially if the end of the hose seals against something, and be careful as the vacuum can fall over or pull itself towards you if you are on a bare floor. For my own personal use, if I were to buy another WindTunnel tomorrow, I would buy the standard non-self-propelled model because above everything else itís just all-around easier to use.

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