Tuesday, December 27, 2016

National Throw Out Your Old Vacuum Cleaner Week!


Vacuums Make A Swell Gift
By all rights the week after Christmas should be declared "National Throw Out Your Old Vacuum Cleaner Week" because it is the time when they get trashed. It is an American tradition that literally, tens of millions of perfectly good vacuum cleaners are tossed and kicked to the curb every year when they are replaced during Christmas with a new shiny model. While it might not be considered a romantic gift a new vacuum falls into the practical category and the purchase is often justified based on complaints that the old unit is on its last leg and not worth fixing. Snazzy marketing and what looks like ever falling prices on what had previously been labeled as deluxe features add fuel to the drive and endless pursuit to become the proud owner of a better vacuum.

In a land where consumerism is a way of life, a new vacuum model is always arriving at stores sporting claims it is better, stronger and more reliable. In truth, the changes are generally very minor such as boosting the coolest new color and a cord that is longer or easier to manage. With a fresh supply of new fairly inexpensive models always hitting the store shelves it is little wonder simply junking the old unit has gained a great deal of appeal. New vacuums also tend to be chalked full of new features all pointing to one thing and that is cleaning will soon become a fun task rather than a drudgery that you seek to avoid.

A Very Common Sight Across America
Anyone who knows anything about appliances can quickly make the argument the lowly vacuum cleaner may be the most abused of all household appliances. While a new vacuum brings a smile to those who pull these sparkling new toys out of a box this does not deter them from continuing their old habits and they quickly return to heaping misery upon their new article of joy. In many ways, manufacturers are responsible for much of this and should hang their heads in shame for promising too much or delivering too little. It is not uncommon for vacuums to soon suffer insults and mistreatment. Simply put, a vacuum cleaner should be ready for a life of no respect. To make matters worse when it comes to maintenance and repair, vacuum cleaners usually require high technical knowledge which has grown more complex with time. Most people find that trying to have an old unit serviced is often more trouble than it is worth.

Unfortunately, the directions that accompany a new vacuum are easy to ignore once the unit is plugged in and the user becomes hypnotized by its roar. The hell with the idea large objects should be picked up rather than vacuumed up, whether because of laziness or carelessness far too many things such as dimes or small screws tend to be cruelly sucked up into these units. Almost as heartbreaking is the way dust carpet odor killer designed to mask smells rapidly excels at plugging vacuum filters, if not that it is the massive amounts of pet hair that take a toll. This time of year it is not uncommon to find a vacuum plugged with needles from a Christmas tree, this is something they were never designed to pick up. An extra switch that fails can render an expensive machine useless, finding the right belt or if needed a bag can also be a challenge. The bottom-line is most units can be fixed and their lives greatly extended with a little TLC but when it comes to this appliance such care is often in short supply.

Vacuums Scorned End Life In A sad Place
Whether because of changing demand or as a part of a plot to render older units obsolete manufacturers of vacuum cleaners constantly change models making parts expensive. They also seem to have some of the worst websites known to man, not only are they difficult to navigate but they make information about parts nearly impossible to get. The real truth is when features are added most units become far to complicate to function well and tabs and parts begin to break just after the warranty runs out. This should not be a big issue to most consumers because the warranty almost always fails to cover abuse and this is the reason most vacuums fail. It should be noted that many people really don't vacuum as often as they should so the warranty period seems to fly by while the unit sits idle.


Footnote; Out of all the vacuum cleaner articles published this holiday season I personally want to thank you for reading mine. As a contractor and as a Landlord I witness a great deal of waste and see many things abused and discarded long before their time. Because of my concern for the environment, I cannot help but be saddened that we live in a world where resources are so often squandered. Feel free to forward this article to a vacuum cleaner abuser near you.

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