“ Design: Upright / Dirt Capture: Container / Tank / Bag Capacity: 0.55 Gallon / Consumed Power: 1800 Watt / Filtration Technology: HEPA / Number of Tools: 3 / Upright Hose: With Hose / Features: Edge Cleaning / Weight: 17.42 lb. „
~ The Package ~
The Electrolux EnviroVac Z2952A is marketed as an environmentally friendly low powered (800 watt) vacuum cleaner. It features all you might expect from a quality vacuum cleaner such as cyclonic action; edge-to-edge cleaning; floor-type selector, long stretchy hose and on-board tool storage. Included in the box is a long tube including crevice nozzle, a spare belt and an extra dust cup foam filter. It also comes with a handy combined dusting and upholstery brush. When I first cast my eyes upon the Electrolux EnviroVac Z2952A I do confess that I did feel some immediate attraction. It looks good and it feels good. This bagless upright is coloured in a cool light shade of blue green - or 'spearmint breeze' as the makers describe it - a refreshing change from the garish primary colours of so many vacuum cleaners that clog the market. As mentioned, this is marketed as an energy saving cleaner that will give you more suck for your money and save the planet at the same time because it uses less energy than your common 1800 watt cleaners. It's not the first Eco vac that Electrolux have produced. They produced the bagged Z2252A Eco Vac which was also an 800 watt.
~ Using It ~
The plastic body of the cleaner has a pleasant tactile touch and surprisingly it's not that heavy - the cleaner weighs 7.9kg. Of course this will depend on what your use to, but I found this unit quite easy to pick up with one hand and shift around. One aspect of the structure that I've never come across before is the foot peddle that allows you two unlock the upright body of the cleaner from the head so that you can get under furniture etc. This peddle, situated on the left hand side of the head, is pressed down towards the left. On all previous cleaners I've used such a foot peddle is pressed down towards the user. Therefore it takes a bit of getting used to even if it does make more sense ergonomically. The on/off switch is on the upper body but a little low down in my opinion. I would have liked it nearer the top of the handle. I did very much like the quick release 2.1 litre capacity dustbin system, it is so easy to access and empty the dust box by simply pulling a latch underneath the door cover. This really does make it easy to empty the dust box in an easy and quick manner.
There is an extra stretch hose that extends to about three metres, I find this is enough to enable me to vacuum my parent's 14 step staircase without having to drag the cleaner to the top of the stairs. This also makes it easier to vacuum the tops of curtain rails and other awkward out of reach places. One useful feature is an anti-tip design built into the body. This prevents the upright from toppling over when the hose is in use and is another advantage when stretching over long distances. The 7 metre cable also adds much versatility and enables you to cover considerable ground without having to keep changing plug sockets. All the tools on this machine snap back easily enough after use and the hose is easy to remove from half way down the rear of the vacuum.
~ Suction Quality ~
Although I wouldn't say the suction performance was outstanding, I could detect no real difference in performance between this cleaner and my previous 1800 watt Typhoon bagless cleaner. The EnviroVac Z2952A works well on most regular carpeted surfaces but does go a little erratic on tiles and tends to attack my kitchen mat for some reason (although it is a horrible mat). It noticeably does a good job of sucking up those nasty hairs, but I was less than satisfied with the so called edge-to-edge cleaning that all these cleaners are supposed to be expert at. There is a side cleaning wheel for getting up close against the skirting boards and this is a useful feature if you have long skirting boards, but sometimes you need to use the front of the head to get into narrower edges and this method doesn't always pick up the bits that well, in which case you may find yourself relying on the hose facility with crevice nozzle. However this is a very minor point and does not detract from the general good quality of the overall suction.
~ Noise Level ~
One positive aspect was the noise level. Although very similar in structure, the cleaner is certainly less noisy than my previous cleaner (Typhoon 1800w Upright). This is no doubt partly due to the less powerful but more efficient 800W motor. However it is by no means the quietest cleaner I've used, at 75 decibels it generates more than a gentle hum, but it probably is the quietest bagless cleaner I've come across.
~ HEPA Filtration System ~
Like my previous cleaner this model uses a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system. This uses a special filtration cartridge to stop fine dust being blown out of the vacuum and into the environment. It should therefore be a bonus for allergy sufferers and those who own pets). The filters are easy to take out of the cleaner and wash (make sure you dry them before replacing in the cleaner). The recommendation is that you do this every six months, obviously this will depend on how often you vacuum your house (not to mention how dirty your house is), but I find that I can go a lot longer than twelve months without washing a filter. Electrolux have been kind enough to include a spare filter so you can still carry on vacuuming while the other filter is being washed and dried.
~ Eco Friendliness ~
Many manufacturers of household appliances have been jumping on the environmental bandwagon in recent years and making often dubious claims about the environmentally friendly credentials of their products, disregarding the fact that probably the most environmentally friendly thing a consumer can do is to avoid buying a new product until the old one really has finally worn out. The sheer volume of different types and makes of vacuum cleaner that has saturated the market every year proves that this industry has to be one of the least eco-friendly out there. However, at least some manufacturers do seem to be making some kind of genuine effort. The Electrolux EnviroVac supposedly will save you money by using less energy than other cleaners. Obviously as a consumer I cannot measure exactly how efficient the cleaner is except to say that it does its job effectively and more smoothly than my previous main vacuum cleaner (a Typhoon 1800 Upright). According to the manufacturers the cleaner's efficiency is due to the fact that it houses a super-efficient 800W motor which offers an equal level of suction to that of a regular 1800w model. This enables the vacuum to use 50% less energy during the suction process. This means that the vacuum can pick up 20 per cent more dust using 30 per cent less energy than similar models. Certainly these statistics if true, means that the cleaner is a move in the right direction as far as energy efficiency is concerned.
Taking all things into consideration I would definitely recommend this vacuum cleaner. It looks good, it's easy to use, it does a reasonably good job and any household appliance that uses less electricity gets the thumbs up from me. What's more, when you're cleaning your house, you get this warm feeling inside that you're saving the environment as well (although it could just be your wallet).
The cleaner was purchased for just under £100 at John Lewis.
Short name: Electrolux Z2952A