The Hoover Telios is one of Hoover's long standing cylinder vacuum cleaners that replaced the Hoover "Alpina," range in the late 1980's along with the bargain, same bag capacity sized "Arrianne," models that were a little bit lighter and not as well equipped (for a start their smaller cleaning tools had to sit on a tube holder that often fell off) as the more compact and Miele inspired Telios design. The T5636 model was made briefly between 1995 and 1998 when Hoover still made some of the models with a slider fitted variable suction control and with 250 air watts on board, the T5636 with its powerful 1700 watt motor on board was originally priced between £90 and £120. Although with all intents and purposes, the "Alpina," was one of Hoover's greatest sellers because of its quiet and sound proofed motor, the Telios model range never had any electronics built into them because Hoover decided to move away from building luxury cylinder vacuums and for the U.K concentrated more on their upright vacuums as Electrolux and Panasonic took equal market shares.
Thus the Telios bagged vacuum is still worth considering if all you need is a compact, cheap to maintain and lightweight cylinder vacuum with all of its tools hidden away thanks to a flush fitting flap on the front of the body. The underside of the Telios has black PVC to protect it from scrapes and bumps and generally most of their bagged range has won admiration from many buyers over the years simply because the Telios is a good all rounder. Over the bulkier Sensory cylinder vacuums, the successor to the Telios, the older Telios is still quieter and easier to manoeuvre because of its soft and organic shape. It weighs in around 5kg thanks to its friction fit steel extension tubes and has a good shape to sit on stairs.
There are however a couple of downsides. The T5636 suffered from cheap friction fit only tubes which meant once the tubes were pushed together, they failed to come apart unless you happened to own a vice in your DIY shed to prise them apart. This model also suffered from Hoover's original trigger suction handle before the long hose that often caught the back of owner's hands when squeezed open to let out air. Most people often ask me why vacuum hoses have a slider to let air out if the vacuum already has variable suction control. The answer is simple; even if the vacuum cleaner is set at its lowest power and not much suction air is coming out, when it comes to cleaning precious materials such as curtains or loose upholstery, the air suction valve on the handle restricts any clothing or material from being sucked up into the main floor head. Another downside is the plastic quality - although the underside of the vacuum is well made and protected, the top of the hood is the worst for lack of protection and most Telios models have broken tool flaps on the hinges where the flap has been over extended. Scrapes can easily be cleaned off even though there is little protection on the painted surfaces.
General performance is better than most cylinder vacuums of the period because of the weight of the Hoover Telios and its general design. The main rivals for example for the Telios was the Electrolux Mondo E, a cylinder vacuum that was produced in Hungary and although capable had a knack for falling down stairs because of its wide body and poor plastics around its exhaust filter holding, often popping off letting motor dust fly around. Although Electrolux responded by making the Mondo a lot lighter and thinner by profile, the model wasn't as reliable as the lighter Hoover Telios whilst Panasonic's main cylinder vacuum also suffered from being too big and bulky despite being better made.
Realistically the only places you're likely to see the Hoover Telios on sale now is either on Gumtree or EBAY and in all cases the T5636 will be a second hand purchase. If you see one priced at £60 walk well away! For this model and its age if it is sold between £30 to £50 then it's a wise and prudent cheap deal on a vacuum that has lasted well. The motors are well sealed and very well built however and whilst performance is excellent thanks to its built in variable suction control and reasonably easy to control floor head, the smaller cleaning tools on board are worth considering, particularly when they are better made than most other vacuums of the period. A small dusting brush that can get into the tightest of corners and a flat T shaped lint added upholstery tool are both the best in the business, both of which are still used today on Hoover's Purepower upright range. Made of thick PVC plastic, both tools are very durable and reliable at what they do. The crevice tool is a small 5" sized tool that is noisy in use but out of the three, the crevice tool is one that gets lost over time despite having its own hidey place with the rest of the tools on board. Most second hand Telios models lack some of the smaller cleaning tools but these can be easily found on EBAY from a myriad of sellers, sometimes as low priced as £2-99.
Where filtration is concerned the Hoover Telios T5636 solely depends on microfiltration made up of three layers and a washable foam sponge. They are easy to install, take out and one filter kit tends to last for the duration of five dust bags. Most recently I've come across filter kits costing £1-99 from Comet and John Lewis where originally the filter kit used to cost from £7-99 up to £15! The paper dust bags available in a 5 pack at a cost of £7-99 originally can fall to £3-99 when sold in plastic Hoover branded bags. The box of bags for this model is however higher priced because they are currently used in Hoover's Freemotion and Sensory range and a further box of bags known as "H30 Plus," have extra layers of filtration in the paper to combat odours.
In reality the worst move that Hoover ever made was in the last years of the Telios life to accept the HEPA filter cartridge that goes in front of the motor behind the dust bag inside the vacuum. At a cost of £15 to £23 (sometimes John Lewis and Comet have spare ones at much reduced cost since there is little demand for them) this sealed paper pleated cartridge reduces suction power by 50%, which makes no use at all for the bagged Telios vacuum. It is better to consider the basic filter you'll find in Hoover's filter kit as it allows good suction and protection to the motor. One dust bag, at four litres capacity can last up to three months too and the brown or white paper bags are simple to install as well as take out. If the bag isn't installed properly for example, the lid won't close down and lock. Hoover made other bags known as the Pure Filt series, which are similar to the higher filter packed H30 bags, but they struggled on the 1400 watt Arrianne models. Placed in the Telios T5636 model however, the Pure Filt bags last a lot longer and tend to last the duration similar to the simpler and cheaper brown paper bags. Pure Filt should be considered if you need HEPA but don't want to lose the suction!
All in all the Hoover Telios T5636 is a great cylinder vacuum cleaner even if it only has a 32mm suction only floor head with pedals for hard floor cleaning. Over the current range of bagged cylinder vacuums by Hoover, the Hoover Telios is still worth considering even if it lacks a couple of cleaning tools. If it has a height adjustable telescopic suction tube included with the price and the all important variable suction control dial at the front, this model is worth it for all round power and cleaning capability. It also has a long 7 metre cord that retracts automatically and for that reason alone it also travels better along with its smaller central rotation wheel and two large wheels on the back. Choose one without variable suction control and you'll have to put up with high noise and constant grappling trying to get the floor head off the floor; a problem that seems to affect the latest Hoover Telios currently selling at Comet. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2010
Short name: Hoover 5636