By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
As major appliance vendors continue to bring technological advances to the forefront, vacuum companies are likewise pushing innovation on the floor front.
Both Hoover and Bissell are launching new lines of upright vacuums with emphasis on their new design and deep cleaning capabilities.
Hoover's updated line of SteamVac deep cleaners use the company's new V2 technology. The V2 technology involves a dual air path in the nozzle that creates two inverted Vs, upping the airflow for a more powerful cleaning capability.
"We started with research that told us the qualities that consumers sought most in an extractor," said VP of marketing David Baker. "So we have designed the SteamVac V2 deep cleaner with features that address each of the top 10 qualities that consumers want."
Two models — the F7205-900 and F7220-900 — are currently available with suggested retail prices ranging from $239 to $329. The line has been shipped to Hoover's top 10 retailers, including Best Buy, Kmart, Sears and Wal-Mart, and will soon reach independent retailers. Full distribution is expected by the end of August, according to a company spokeswoman.
Hoover, based here, will support the launch of these models with commercials on major network TV, cable TV and syndicated shows, as well as with an infomercial. Print ads will also run in major consumer magazines.
The new SteamVacs contain the following features:
Heated cleaning: Heat from the 12-amp motor directs it into the cleaning area of the five SpinScrub brushes. The heat is instant, always on and always working.
Visible parts: The entire nozzle is now clear. The SpinScrub multiple-brush system and nozzle are easily removed for cleaning.
Fingertip rinse control: The SteamVac has always been capable of rinsing carpets with water, but now the rinse controls can shut off the detergent at the touch of a button. No change of tank is necessary.
Bissell is also emphasizing deep cleaning with its newly redesigned DirtLifter PowerBrushes. With a sixth row of brushes added, the company said its most popular line of deep cleaning vacuums will successfully lift out dirt that has settled at the base of the carpet fiber. The ProHeat Pro-Tech and the ProHeat ClearView Plus have this six-row brush, while the PowerSteamer ClearView, also part of the line, has been updated with a four-row brush.
The ProHeat Pro-Tech adds Scotchgard protection to carpets while cleaning. It also features a 12-amp motor and a 700-watt on-board heater that increases the temperature of hot tap water up to 25 degrees before it is applied to the carpet. The ProHeat ClearView Plus doesn't include the Scotchgard protection, but does have the on-board heater as well as the rotating TurboBrush that can be used as a hand tool for upholstery or stairs.
The PowerSteamer ClearView features a 12-inch cleaning path and a see-through nozzle that allows users to see dirt being extracted as carpet is being cleaned.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company said the new models are now shipping to retailers nationwide. The three models are the ProHeat Pro-Tech, which has a suggested retail of $279.99; the ProHeat ClearView Plus, $229.99; and the PowerSteamer ClearView, $139.99.
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