* Prices may differ from that shown
If you own a SEBO upright in the form of the X1 Automatic, X1.1 and X4 models, you will probably be aware by now through ownership that whilst there are optional tools available to buy, not much has to be bought during the years of actual ownership apart from the paper dust bags and the filters. A Service box of bags and filters can last up to two years for example with the only short term requirement being the filters on board. The beauty of SEBO products is that they are generally very simple to use and have been designed for this very aspect when it comes to replacing. As such the micro odour filters on board the X models are probably the biggest on the market for the upright vacuums and mirror a long kitchen roll sized cardboard roll on appearance.
The SEBO Charcoal micro filter is a cost optional filter that is only fitted as standard on the SEBO X4 Pet model but it has been a filter that has been available for a number of years following an option for pet owners who can't stand the smell of rotting pet hair as it sits in the bag with the standard micro odour filter. It costs around £16-95 (John Lewis) and off line at stores it is far cheaper than paying £49 for it online (some EBAY sellers). Mirroring the design of the cheaper standard micro odour filter, the Charcoal filter is a long cylinder of thick white felt with tie backs on either end to hold the felt in place. Under the felt sits a 100% recycled plastic grid that holds the body of the filter in place and within the thick white felt, charcoal grains can easily be felt (as well as heard if you shake the actual product) but not seen (well, unless you're inquisitive and destroy the filter by cutting into it!). It is the charcoal element alone that holds back the smell of pet hair and associated odours as well as filtering out the nasties and providing the rooms you clean with a fresher wave of cleaner air than the air that was initially sucked into the vacuum.
Fitting the filter is very easy to do (as is taking it out), and just as easy as fitting a disposable dust bag on the SEBO X uprights. Once the door is unlocked and taken out, the filter can only be fitted once the release spring lock is pushed upwards and the guide lines of the filter meets up with the guide lines located on the base of the bin area. This is fairly easy to do just by grabbing the filter at the top and sliding it into the guide lines before pushing it in without really having to bend down. There is no click on the spring however, just a slight nib that can be felt when pushing the filter in that makes the right connection. The beauty of the filter's base is that it can only go in one way, so there is no need to get confused - another aspect that can be similarly found with SEBO's K cylinder vac's filters. Once it is fitted the bin door simply plugs back in and locks up to the top of the vacuum. If the door can't seem to lock, then the filter hasn't been properly fitted.
Depending on use, I've so far found that the Charcoal filter can last up to two or three years before needing to be replaced but it very much depends on the kind and amount of pet hair you're picking up and additional things that can destroy the Charcoal potency. Used three to four times a week with the SEBO X vacuum and running after a cat and a visiting dog, the Charcoal filter in my experience is worth the extra cost because there is nothing quite like a vacuum that smells sterile compared to one that's full of stinky pet bits! The micro odour filter alone which doesn't have the Charcoal beads fitted does well on normal household dust and if you keep your costs down simply adding a bit of bicarbonate powder to the dust bag every couple of weeks, the additive in theory does keep back the smell of pet hair but it doesn't because of the SEBO suction formula. However, long term with the Charcoal filter added, there is no need to add in powder because, what happens if you want to scent your vacuum cleaner whilst in use? This is where any scent that's added can substantially be neutralized by the contact with the powder in the bin.
The beauty of the Charcoal filter is that unlike Miele's HEPA and Active Air Clean filters, which don't condone the use of scented capsules that destroys their Charcoal cartridges, the Sebo Charcoal filter isn't affected by scented capsules or air fresheners! Sebo even sell scented capsules that are designed to be dropped into the bag! Therefore, in use what happens is quite unusual - the scent comes out of the vacuum cleaner in waves as it is supposed to - but the Charcoal filter keeps back the obvious smells of pet hair. This only works because of SEBO's clean air sealed suction design. The air is constantly recycled through the odour filter and pumped back out towards the sides of the vacuum. The Miele filter on the other hand only protects the motor from impending rotting hair and associated smells and it warns the use of scented capsules or powders that will destroy the filter.
The air that is expelled from the SEBO X uprights, with the Charcoal filter fitted is very clean and pet hair odour is not detectable. Therefore the filter works very well for the job it is designed to combat. For those who have allergies, the Charcoal odour filter reinforces SEBO's aim for cleaner air and is a far better bet than a bagless vacuum will ever be given that the dust sucked up in a SEBO gets deposited in a high filter paper bag with a seal cap as opposed to airborne when a cyclone system bin is emptied.
Now when the filter needs replacing there are two indications that the filter will give; either if it is too black with the amount of dirt it has filtered in the air, or simply when you start to detect pet hair smells in the air when you shouldn't. Unlike the micro odour filter, the Charcoal filter will need to be replaced since the charcoal inside has been used up. It does however present a good value filter even if it only lasts up a year, being comparable in price to Miele's own filter for their S7 upright vacuum cleaner.
So if you have pets and a SEBO upright vacuum cleaner in the X range, the Charcoal micro odour filter is worth its weight as it does the job as intended. Although not washable, the fact that it is made out 100% recycled material confirms SEBO as being one of the environmentally friendlier brands out there. Better than the micro odour filter alone, the Charcoal filter reinforces the clean system that has made SEBO renowned; their S-Class filter for example serves the same high efficiency particulate air as a standard HEPA with other brands. That and the fact that it is also versatile as well as long lasting makes it a winner in my eyes. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2010
Short name: Sebo 5425ER