Product Review: Dyson DC14 Animal Vacuum

For a mid-to-upper priced vacuum this one is excellent. It cleans up my house with 2 cats and one dog, plus barn dirt dragged in. My old vacuum barely touched any of the animal hair, but the Dyson sucks it right up.

The Dyson is bagless, upright vacuum cleaner and is easy to use. The suction pulls hair and dirt into a chamber with centrifugal force. The chamber can be emptied be holding it over a garbage can and pressing the release, which causes the bottom to drop off. The chamber is not really big enough for multiple animals, requiring frequent trips to the trash can for emptying. When I let it get too full the hairs get caught against the insides of the chamber, requiring me to reach up inside and pull all the junk out. If it’s not too full everything falls out smoothly, but I have to empty five or six times to complete my 1100 square foot house. Also, the dust stays on the edges of chamber, so when I close the bottom up again I always end up getting dust on myself. It would be nice if there was a mechanism that worked opposite of the release, and pulled the bottom closed again.

The Dyson automatically adjusts for the carpet height, which works all right most of the time, except initially I have to go back and forth over the first spot a handful of times before the adjuster kicks in. When it’s set to the wrong height it doesn’t pick up anything at all.

The handle of the vacuum can be pulled out and extended to reach into difficult places. It is a bit awkward getting it on and off the main unit until you get the hang of it. Attachments can be added onto the end of the reach for corners and under furniture, and a special attachment picks up pet hair. The pet attachment has a bottom covered with material like that used in the brushes for removing pet hair from clothes. Sometimes I have problems with the attachments falling off, and end up just holding the attachment itself rather than the end of the reach system.

The cord is very long. I plug it into an outlet near the center of my house and can complete almost the entire house without ever unplugging the cord. When the vacuum is stored the cord wraps up in the back to keep it from getting tangled around itself.

The roller underneath does collect some of the hairs, and I have to cut it off every couple of uses. It’s annoying, but no different from my previous vacuum.

Overall the Dyson is a great vacuum. It has strong suction, it’s nice not to have to deal with bags, and the pet attachment really helps pull the hair out of tight places. It used to take me around 2 hours to get the carpets in my house cleaned; now it takes less than half an hour. It was worth the higher cost.

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