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This futuristic looking bad boy is the Electrolux Z5401, a powerful upright vacuum cleaner that means business. It has lots of design features, making it a very useful tool to have in the home, and it works well on both carpeted and laminate/wooden floors. Specifically designed for pet owners, the Z5401 has a very cleverly designed extension system meaning that stairs can be tackled without having to carry the machine about. I get through vacuum cleaners at a fairly disgraceful rate. Part of the issue is because I have a houseful of hairy animals which mean I spend a lot of time picking up the copious fur that they gift me each day. The second (and main) reason is that my house is heated via a solid fuel system which creates a lot of dust and very fine ash which eventually clogs up the motors no matter how well fitted the filters in the cleaner may be. They then usually explode dramatically or fizzle out with a pitiful squeak. I also have to have at least two vacuum cleaners in the house, one for upstairs and one down, as I cannot carry the things about easily. This upright lives downstairs in the living room of doom. The living room of doom is where most of the mess gets made and is the hairiest and dustiest room in the house. It takes a lot of cleaning to keep the room looking half decent and mostly this involves vacuuming several times a day. I needed something that was very hard wearing and reliable, not too heavy for this old creaky gimmer to push about, and something that had the power of a small aircraft. THE PRODUCT: *A long hose: This machine comes with a predominantly silver casing with dark red detailing around the dust canister. There is a long stair hose fitted as standard which is a wonderful thing, as upright vacuums rarely have a hose long enough to manage stairs without needing to be proficient in both weightlifting and gymnastics. As anybody who has owned an upright will tell you, you take your life into your hands when you attempt to both stretch the minimal hose extension and balance the thing on the third stair from the bottom in order to vacuum up the staircase. So this long hose is brilliant for stairs and means that you do not have to worry about balancing a heavy hoover at an awkward angle while you try to get up that last bit of fluff. It also concertinas in on itself and tucks away neatly so when you have finished said staircase, you will not break your neck falling over it. The stair tube is so long that from behind the vacuum cleaner looks like it has its own neatly packed intestine system, all curled up correctly and tidily. *Suction: The Electrolux Z5401A boasts a "No Loss suction" system using HEPA technology and micro-cyclones. This vacuum packs a 1600w motor into the body which is more than enough for everyday cleaning tasks on all floor surfaces. For added "ooomph" the turbo brush for pet hair gives a concentrated suction boost. In my house, this add on brush gets used a lot and it is great for picking up German Shepherd undercoat (fluff) as well as the longer top coat hair. I have not noticed any loss of suction as the canister gets full and this vacuum cleaner lives up to the sales hype. It is rather noisy but you do get used to that. *HEPA technology: The Electrolux Z5401A features HEPA filtration which is fairly standard across the board these days. I consider it to be an essential feature with a house full of animals, as HEPA is a technology that captures all manner of tiny irritants such as pollen, allergens and stink from pets. In addition this vacuum cleaner has an anti-odour feature in the form of an "Arm and Hammer system", which I have found to be very effective against general doggy smells. This is a cyclonic vacuum cleaner which separates the fine dust particles from the filters, meaning that they do not get as clogged. I assume that this works well as I have had this for a while now and it has not blown up..... *On board tools: This upright manages to squish an awful lot of on-board tools in various nooks and crannies around the main body. It comes with 2 extension tubes, a mini crevice nozzle, a turbo head and a soft brush for any furnishings/sofa. These are tucked in so cleverly that they do not get in the way, neither do they fall out. All of the tools are hard wearing and made from a grey plastic, and the connectors on the end of the extension tubes are impossible to remove without lots of levering with a tool. *Bagless dust storage: The red canister is bagless and is easy to access for ease of emptying. It holds a user friendly 2.5 litres of muck. The main canister can be washed out before re-using which again counters any pet odours that may be lingering. It also means that there is no extra cost involved in owning this machine, as you will not have to buy bags. IN USE: The vacuum cleaner is very easy to set up from the word go. The handle needs to be attached via one screw. The hoses hook around in a way that is self explanatory when you look at the cup style holders around the back. The instructions that come with the machine show you where to place the various extra nozzles and tubes for the on board tools, but again this is fairly logical. Although this is a full size upright vacuum cleaner, this is not too heavy or unyielding to use. The bottom has efficient wheels and brushes that assist the vacuum cleaner in moving across the floor. There are different settings for the type of floor being cleaned and these vary between a hard floor setting (laminates/wood/tile) and carpet. The button selector for these settings is easy to access on the front base of the cleaner and you simply twist it to adjust the brush depth. The main feature of this vacuum is the ability to clean the stairs despite being an upright. The extension poles do indeed stretch to the top of my stairs and the machine does not topple or struggle when left at the bottom of the staircase. There is no more lugging heavy machines upstairs with this, which is a blessing to creaky and aching people like me. The turbo attachment is useful for stair cleaning as it is more "concentrated" in suction power and less cumbersome, but there is also a shaped end hose should you wish to use it. Electrolux call the turbo nozzle "The Riser Visor" which is a bit excruciating, but this really is a great little add-on item as it can be used both vertically and horizontally with a simple flip motion. SPECIFICATION: * Bagless, Cylonic, No Loss of Suction upright bagless vacuum cleaner * HEPA pleated Filter for excellent filtration, easy to maintain. With Arm and Hammer anti-odour coating. * Pet Turbo nozzle for effective pet hair removal * 3 to 1 Stretch hose for excellent air flow and additional stair hose * Tools include combination dusting and upholstery brush * Extra-long hose and additional stair hose included * 9 meter power cord and 5.5 meters of stretch hose = 14.5 meters of total cleaning reach. * Floor height adjuster (for carpet/hard floors) * Multi cyclonic technology ensuring no suction loss * Weight = 10kg SUMMARY: This is a feature rich upright vacuum cleaner, designed for pet owners. It tackles the age old problem of pet hair with ease and has a brilliantly designed system for stair cleaning. There are enough tools included for various functions and the machine lives up to the marketing hype. I have owned this for over 2 years now and it is still going strong. The only down side to this is the fact that an upright is harder to store that a smaller cylinder vacuum cleaner but I guess we cannot have everything. This is currently on Amazon for £69.99 with free delivery, which I consider to be an excellent deal.
The Air Excel Stair from Electrolux benefits from being a no loss of suction Vacuum Cleaner without pleated filters making it simple to maintain and mess free / The Air Excel comes with a HEPA Arm and Hammer Anti Odour filter to eliminate odours around the home / Additional features include an additional 3 in 1 stretch hose for stair cleaning edge to edge cleaning foot operated pedals floor type selector and turbo nozzle for ease of use / Short name: Electrolux Z5401A