Pros: Great for tall people, long cord, great price
Cons: No light in front, no "brush" for stairs.
We were perfectly happy with our bagless Bissel, but after our oldest went off to College, she took the Bissel with her. This left us with only one Vacuum Cleaner and a two-story house.
Since I refuse to carry the only Vacuum Cleaner we now own up and down the stairs several times a week, we needed to find another one that would keep up with two kids, three dogs, a cat and lots of dirt.
For about two days we owned the Hoover V-2 bagless. After I vacuumed the downstairs (two carpeted rooms, one with hardwood floors and an area rug), the Hoover was hopelessly clogged. I had expected much more from a $300 Vacuum, so back to the store it went.
During a recent trip to Walmart, we saw the GE bagless. It was on sale for under $100. Since we own quite a few GE appliances, we decided to give this one a try.
WHY A BAGLESS? Over the past twenty years or so, I have owned both bagged and bagless Vacuums. I like the convenience of not having to empty a bag. The money savings are negligible, because the cost of the bags is usually replaced by having to buy new filters every so often. I also think that bagless Vacuums have much better filter systems. And try fishing your son's favorite Lego out of a bag.
WHY THE GE? Our final selection came down to three models. The Hoover V-2, the Eureka (can't remember the model, but it's yellow) and another Hoover model that is both bagged and bagless but is only available at Sears stores.
We tried the V-2, found that it doesn't work and returned it. A friend has the Eureka, was first very impressed with it and then realized that it lost suction very quickly once the cup got only partially full. The other Hoover model was priced at over $300 and that's quite a large amount of money to spend.
The GE was a model we hadn't even taken into close consideration, simply because we did not see it until last week, when we happened to find it at a Walmart store. It was bagless, reasonably priced and had all the features (but one) that I wanted in a vacuum.
I am not sure if the GE is available in other colors, but ours is a dark, shiny green with a grey handle. Overall height is approximately 43 inches. My husband is 6'3" and thinks this height is ideal even for his height. Compared to others it is lightweight with "only" 13lbs.
Fresh out of the Box, the GE comes in two parts. The actual Vacuum and a handle that snaps onto the top part of the Vacuum. It snaps on fairly easy, but there's a reason why there is a bag with two screws in the box. My husband snapped on the handle, decided he had done his assembly job and, to show me how great it works, picked up the vacuum. The handle snapped off and hit me in the face. Ouch! So please make sure you screw on the handle. In order to do that, you will have to remove the lint/dirt cup.
Just like the dirt cup, the extension hose is see-through. The GE also has another great feature: In the middle of the back is a clear plastic cover that unscrews should the Vacuum ever become clogged. That way you are able to get to both the extension hose and the dirt cup inlet. I think it's great that GE thought about that, but hope they didn't just put it in there because clogging is a common problem.
FROM THE HANDLE DOWN:
The handle is slightly curved on top, making it easy to hold onto. Halfway down on the left is a little snap on thingy (technical term), that holds the cord while you vacuum.
At the bottom of the handle on the left is the on/off switch. It is printed in red and easy to see.
On the left side underneath the handle is the HEPA filter. The compartment opens easily with a fingertip latch and the filter simply pops out. It should be replaced every three months or so. Unfortunately I did forget to look at the price of a replacement filter, I will update this review as soon as I remember to look. Other filters run in the $8.00 to $10.00 range, so it's not something that will tear up your budget.
On the front of the GE Vacuum is a grey fliptop latch. This locks/unlocks the dirt cup. The cup itself is directly below the latch.
In the beginning we had a problem getting the dirtcup to fit back into it's space. I found it's easiest if you slightly tilt the vacuum and insert the bottom lip of the cup into the groove and then snap the top in. Once you know how it goes in, it's easy to do.
The dirtcup is a total of 14.5 inches tall and measures 4.75 inches in diameter. Unfortunately only about 4.5 inches of that can be filled with dirt. The upper 10 inches hold the filter (washable) and the thing that holds it in place.
The filter is in the cup, not next to it. It is roughly 5.5 inches tall and 3 inches across. While you probably can suck up enough dirt to cover it, I wouldn't recommend that you do that. The filter on bagless vacuums should never be covered with dirt. It can easily break or become so clogged that you need to replace it and those things are not cheap.
To empty the cup you will have to flip the latch to the right, slide out the cup, open the lid for the cup and tilt it upside down into a garbage can. Then re-attach the cup lid, slide the cup back into place and flip the latch to the left. Easy isn't it?
The filter in the cup simply twists free and can be brushed off, or washed with mild detergent. Don't forget to let it dry before putting it back into the cup.
Underneath the cup is the part that holds the brush. On top you will see a belt viewer to your left. It's a little window that will let you check your belt to make sure it's not broken.
In the center is the height-control for your carpets. It goes from extremely low (bare-floor) to very high. The knob is easy to turn, but you have to bend down to do it. Just think of it as your daily exercise. Up, down, up, down.....
There is NO LIGHT on the GE, but since I usually don't vacuum in the dark that does not bother me too much. But it would be nice to be able to look under couches, beds etc to see how much dirt is left (if any). But the front has a soft rubber bumper, so it will not scratch your furniture.
The right side of the brush assembly protrudes about 1.5 inches. This is your edgegroomer. This design lets the GE get extremely close to furniture to pick up all the extra dust and dirt that collects in those spaces.
UNDERNEATH: When you flip your GE Vacuum over you will see a single brush roller and the wheels. The two wheels are hinged, so you will have less problems getting this vacuum over doorsills and entryways. The single brush roller is more then sufficient to pick up lots of dirt.
POWER/OTHER MEASUREMENTS: This is a 12 AMP Vacuum cleaner with a 15 inch path. This should give you enough power to clean every carpet in your house and then some. The cord is an incredible 25 feet long, making it easy to vacuum even large areas without constantly having to unplug the cord and plugging it in elsewhere. The powercord wraps around two holders in the back and can easily be stored without getting in the way.
ATTACHMENTS/ACCESSORIES: Included in the GE are an extension hose (permanently attached) that stores on the back of the handle. The hose is see-through but tinted kind of like a smoke grey, so it's easy to see clogs. The hose, when not in use, drapes over the holder in the back of the vacuum and plugs into a little attachment at the bottom right. This plug-in tends to come loose when you bump it to hard.
Also included are a extension wand, a crevice tool and a little brush for lampshades and such. What I sorely miss is a hard plastic attachment without bristles for stairs and hard to reach areas. I have found one on another vacuum that happens to fit, but it is not available with the GE, nor is it available at extra charge.
It's a vacuum so please don't expect it to be whisperquiet. The GE is not one of the loudest Vacuums I've had, but it's not one of the quietest either. The noiselevel is tolerable enough that I can vacuum an adjoining room when someone is watching TV, but not when my grandbaby is sleeping.
VACUUMING: This vacuum handles easily, I don't feel that I am pushing a ton of equipment around. The changes between roller brush and using the extensions/accessories are fast and easy to do. The roller brush does not stop rotating while you are using the extension hose. It does not seem to do major damage to the nap in my carpet, but if you value what's on your floor, try to find a spot where a little wear and tear is not so noticable.
This is a "no-tip" vacuum, so even while using the extension hose, this Vacuum will not tip over. I used it on the stairs the other day and was able to do the entire stair (eleven steps) without the vacuum tipping over or wobbling (is that a word?).
DURABILITY: We found all parts to be made from strong plastic material. All handles and attachments are constructed for tough use and we did not find anything that could possible break or snap off easily.
This is a very good vacuum that is exceptionally reasonably priced. I would recommend it anytime.
This is a very good Vacuum for an exceptionally low price.