Written on: 13/04/2011
My review of the HVR-200A
I am sure I am not alone with this. - I had carpets with Dyson Upright Vacuum (hey, that's probably half the population then) The Dyson cleans well, but it is cumbersome and heavy, especially when you only have small to medium sized rooms, and it's a swine to carry it up/down stairs. I do like uprights and would not have a cylinder cleaner for carpets, full stop.
However, I changed over completely to laminate floors and sweepers are only good for crumbs. A friend of mine donated his Dyson Cylinder cleaner after he decided he hated it. The trouble is with the Dyson Cylinder is that generates loads of heat (horrid in the summer) A quarter of the Dysons 2000w is wasted as heat and there is also wasted energy pushing the air through its small 'bottleneck' filters. They're over engineered, and troublesome. I liked the idea of the Dyson but its VERY loud and scare's the cat. AND - When the pipe is pulled, the front of the Dyson lifts and the muck in the container goes up into the cyclone section, reducing suction. Ho hum..
Emptying the Dyson was mucky and even when emptied into a black sack, the dust rose out of the bag, so its an outside job and there is always a breeze that blows the sack around and the dust seems to go over you regardless of where you move to - up wind or down wind. - you know what I mean !! The dust acts like its possessed and intent on getting you. - Just can't get my head around that.
I later purchased a Gtech Vtechnology upright. Great, but the 'V' shaped novelty head is SO annoying and what could have been a solution to upright cleaning of laminates, was ruined by a stupid gimmick head !! Oh well..
Then I was given an Electrolux cylinder cleaner by my parents, that's supposed to be bagless, but you have to keep scrubbing the horrid filter after use, which is hard to clean & takes up half hour, plus you have to use the spare filter while its drying. That cleaner is in the garage with the Dyson, and it can stay there until I dump them both !!
In my quest to find the ideal cleaner for my hard floors, I started reading reviews and stumbled upon the Henry - Everyone seems to love them.
I've known about them for many years but never considered getting one. I have now purchased the HVR-200A and on the first use, was actually impressed. It is so basic & simple. Open it up and you can see everything, and it's easy to understand how it operates. An absolute pleasure. It came with five HepaFlo bags. The bags are huge, and that means loads of surface area. Honestly, with general household use, the airflow is hardly affected as the bag fills. By the time the bag is full (That takes months in an ordinary family semi, with laminate floors, and pets) the air flow has hardly changed. You get more suction loss in bagless cleaners from the filter getting blocked. Really.
Replacement hepaflo bags are only about 60p each, that's less than £2.50 a year. (Replacement filters on bagless cleaners cost 5x that.) They are triple layered and feel thick and really tough. They don't clog like the paper ones and breath much better. On top that sits a basket type washable filter that should be washed every six months (More like a year with hepaflo bags fitted - mine is still clean. This filter has got a huge surface area like the bags, so no bottleneck on the airflow path and that means the motor does not have to work hard to compensate, meaning lower power consumption for the same suction and much less energy wasted as heat plus very clean air coming out of Henry. So don't be fooled by the puny 600w consumption. The basket filter has a rubber edge and just sits on the rim of henry's base. The motor unit sits on top of that, just close the holding clips, job done. The second time you do this will take you a few seconds to put Henry back together !!
I've been wanting to go back to bags for years because of their ease of use. They are such a small expense, and the Henry's bag is 4 or 5 times larger than found in other cylinder cleaners. Just fit it and forget it, and just check it once a month if you want, or just change it every 2 or 3 months. The henry's bags have a great sealing system so that all the dust stays in the bag. Just close it, and chuck it. I just seal it in a morrisons bag and discard in the waste bin. So no escaping dust - Fantastic !! - Seriously, get over the cyclone thing. They are not so great!!
The Henry seems a bit odd to use at first because it's so quiet and sounds like its running too slow on 'eco', but the suction at the nozzle says otherwise!! The first day I got this, I asked by wife to feel the suction and she was a bit shocked as her hand slammed against the nozzle. To try to give you an idea, on its eco setting, the suction feels about the same as my Electrolux (1800W), and on high, it's about the same as the Dyson, but without the NOISE. Henry's noise level is low - Imagine the Dyson whilst wearing ear plugs and you get the idea.
Other reviews say the Henry topples when pulled, I've never had that, maybe they try to wiz round the house too quickly. Also others have said the tubing is wobbly. I thought that upon first use, but then realised that they needed an extra firm push & joints firmly slid in to the stops and the pipes are then rock solid. I personally don't like the pipes much, (as nice as they are) so I use the adjustable pipe from my old Electrolux. It makes doing stairs easier as I can now adjust to a shorter length quickly. The tubes that come with the Henry are my only gripe. They are hard to pull apart and a pain when you come to do stairs. If you intend to use the pipe at full length all the time, then there is not a problem. They're solid and effective. If you like to change the tube length for different jobs, then make sure you are either quite strong or just use the pipe from your old cleaner.
In conclusion, the Henry is well made and quiet, sturdy, its refreshingly simple to maintain and a pleasure to use. It's fairly lightweight at 6 kilos (The Dyson is about 8 or 9, the Electrolux about 7) Storage is no more awkward that any other cleaner as it takes up little floor space. It is quiet enough to talk without shouting, and moves around with ease. Pulling the Henry around corners is just common sense and NOT any different to other cleaners. Just remember that the supplied pipe is longer than most and some people wonder why the Henry gets stuck at corners when they are half way across the room . Dahh.
The bags are huge & last absolutely ages (and they are cheap) Avoid being a cheapscate trying to save a pound for 10 bags - Use the numatic ones and don't use the paper types, or third party ones. That way you will have a suction that remains strong right up to when you change the bag!! Simple. The cable pulls out with ease and rewinding is fast and smooth. Beats the auto rewind systems as you are in control of the rewind speed and the plug will not whack you in the shins. Being lazy is not an issue here. The cable is 10m long where most other brands are only 5m (Dyson 6m).
Henry is cool and the kids will love it and they will probably want to use it.
My cat is still scared of it, but that's probably fear carried over from the screaming Dyson. It picks up everything. Tissues, fluff, grit, and cats toys are sucked up & disappear instantly, without any complaints from Henry. The steel tubes are nice, but are crying out for a length adjustable design, like on the Electrolux. (Numatic - Take Note) On the plus side, the fittings are a standard size so you can use anything (The Dyson tools are not standard size fittings, but you would not want to use those anyway)
I would recommend Henry to friends for sure. Its simplicity is hugely welcome in this complicated world, and it is relaxing to use while other cleaners are 'stressy' with the noise and heat and annoying designs. (Dyson anyone?) In eco mode, it's using just 600w so very cheap to run. The twin turbine fan system is super-efficient and the motor does not pump out masses of heat. I like Dyson uprights for a house full of carpets as they do clean well, but for hard floors, there is nothing better than this. Go try one and see!! Well done Numatic for continuing a simple, long lasting product and design. The UK needs more companies like this.