Last month Vax launched the Air3 range of light, full-sized, multi-cyclonic upright vacuum cleaners and for the last 10 days, we have been Pet tried and testing the Vax Air3 Pet, to see if it really is a revolution in cleaning.
We took a selection of testers, ranging from young adults to senior citizens, and put the Air3 Pet to task on a variety of floors and pet hairs, with some surprising results.
Building on the success of Vax Air, the next generation Air3 Pet claims to answer three main requirements from customers.
As well as being lightweight, it reports a powerful suction, plus high maneuverability, which allows users to vacuum effortlessly around their furniture with a slight turn of the wrist.
So how does it fair…
On arrival, we wasted no time and got it straight out of the box, and thankfully there were none of the usual polystyrene packagings to deal with. All the separate components were well packed and just needed to be unwrapped and clipped together.
With straightforward assembly, there are obvious spaces for the onboard tools. The only exception is the turbo tool, a handy little addition with rotating brushes that make it ideal for use on soft furnishings.
To operate, you simply put your foot on the base and lift the handle back to move the cleaner and engage the brushes, ready to go. When we switched it on it quite literally went off to do its work, with us in tow! The performance is second to none, making short work of both the cat and dog hairs, completely cleaning them away, and leaving lovely brush streaks on the pile, showing where we had cleaned. The powerful suction is definitely achieved with the Air3 Pet and has a lot more performance than we were expecting.
It took a few attempts to get to grips with the feel of the cleaner and the weight distribution, which seems to be all in the upper body. This is caused by the ease with which it moves from side to side, to allow for better cleaning, and we needed to get ourselves balanced with the machine.
By relaxing back from the unit and allowing it to do its job, we found it caused less strain on the back and arms and became very simple to handle.
One of our testers suffers from arthritis so it is paramount that no extra strain is added to this everyday chore and the Air3 Pet meets this expectation. Coming in at 5.1kg in use, it certainly achieves its lightweight promise.
The unit has rotating brushes that can be switched on for carpets, to help agitate and loosen debris but for hard floors you simply push a button to turn them off, reducing the noise and allowing you to clean smooth floors without spraying dust everywhere.
It is very straightforward to use in open spaces, gets as good edge-to-edge suction as anything else on the market, and actually works ‘with a flick of the wrist’ to alter its path and make it easy to go around and under larger objects.
Of course, it will not go under the sofa that sits to the floor – and you will still need to use the hose and pipe attachments to go under desks and beds but on the whole, it is exceptionally easy to use and all of our testers commented on this. With this level of maneuverability, the Air3 Pet has certainly lived up to its claims.
If you leave the cleaner upright the brushes stop rotating and the airflow is diverted through to the hose, which simply un-clips ready for tools to be attached. When you want to use the tools you detach the hose from the base and clip the tools into place on the end of the hose. It is important to make sure that they actually click onto the hose head to avoid them coming off while you clean. Once in place, they stay connected until you are finished with them.
You can either add the tools straight to the hose or use the extending tubes that form the handle, for extra reach. Not only does the handle double as a cleaning pipe, but you can also adjust the height of it easily so that it is comfortable for most people to use, however tall you are.
The hose unit doesn’t look particularly long until you start to stretch it out and realize it can double in length; simply concertinaing back into place once you have finished with it.
For stairs, we advise cleaning with the unit at the bottom, to avoid the cleaner falling down from the top as you stretch out the hose. It happens! The power cable stores neatly at the rear of the cleaner and is easily unwound with just a twist of the catch.
For consistent cleaning, we would recommend that the bagless cylinder is emptied out a couple of times a week, and taken apart for the job. This will ensure that all of the debris is removed, so you won’t be getting clogged up and lose any suction. At the same time, take a look at the revolving brush head because it can get a lot of hairs and cotton wrapped around it.
To clean it simply remove the securing screw, release the small catch on either side and the guard pops off, allowing you to remove any build-up that may restrict or stop the brushes revolving freely.
Overall the completed design is good, although we did find that some of the smaller parts are a bit flimsy and lightweight* if used correctly they should function as expected.
After a week we noticed that the front bumper corners are scuffed but at least the door frames are still intact. This can be remedied by teaching some people to be a little more careful when they are cleaning their rooms!
If you want to rush around the house and get the job done in double time, this cleaner will do the trick but as with any job, it is worth taking a little longer to make sure it is done thoroughly – and with the Air3 Pet you will not only get really clean carpets with visible pile fluffing, you may also find you don’t need to re-do them so often.
The Air3 Pet comes with a six-year guarantee so gives peace of mind when making a large purchase.
Having owned cats and dogs for over twenty years, I have to say that this is possibly the best vacuum cleaner I have used to date. The hair removal is amazing and my house and office hasn’t been this hair-free since it first had carpet laid! The proof is in the dust container everyday. The only problem is that some of the parts are a bit flimsy, so you may be replacing them (under guarantee) more often than you would like. To maintain suction you will need to dismantle the dustbox and clean it on a regular basis.Editor at Your Source Today
*plastic parts do break easily and often, so if you are a heavy user then it would be worth investing in a heavy-duty model rather than this ultra-lightweight U88-AM-P