A Hoover Empower landed under my Christmas tree a few years ago. A gift from my mother and a not so subtle statement about the cleanliness of my house. Whatever. I have two kids and a husband who refuses to remove his shoes (despite threats of amputation for future offenses), a shaggy dog, and long haired cat. Try as I might, I am not superwoman, and am therefore no stranger to dirty floors.
Recommend this product?
The Empower worked great. Even my mother approved (trust me, this alone carries some weight). We used it on our hard wood, slate, and carpet floors and were impressed all around. Sure, we could have used it more frequently, but our laziness is not the vacuums fault.
Although it worked great (and yes, that is past tense), there were a few things I didn't care for. First of all the hose that is used for attachments sometimes comes loose when vacuuming which is a pain. A minor pain, but still a pain. Also, it can be a bit messy when you empty the bin, but we learned to do this outside.
The filter tends to get very dirty and is hard to clean (you can't wash it and your not supposed to bang it against something). I found that using my shop vac to get the dust off of the filter worked pretty well. Yes, I vacuumed my vacuum.
When the vacuum stopped working as well as it had in the past we realized that we needed to buy a new filter. No big deal, right? We had a hard time finding one in stores (even the ones that carry the vacuum), and when we did it was $40.
Although that isn't too bad since it lasted for a few years (I'm sure I pushed it beyond its natural life), we decided to upgrade to fancy-schmancy vacuum. We will keep this one and use it on a different floor (I hate lugging vacuums up stairs), but it won't be our primary vacuum because of the filter issues.