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A Cordless Vacuum 

When you hear mention of the name “Air Force” then your thoughts will probably gravitate towards that branch of the armed forces that operates in the sky. However in this case the subject matter is more land-based as it deals with the force of air rather than the force that rules the air. This “Air Force” is a cordless vacuum cleaner from Rowenta.

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The Air Force cordless vacuum cleaner has been designed to have the appearance of an upright cleaner rather than the various handheld cordless devices that are currently available.  Two versions of the product are available.  These are the 24V and 18V models.  This review is based on the 18V product.

Making up the “Air Force” vacuum cleaner are three main elements which need to be assembled by the user.  First the handle element needs to be slotted into the main body.  This connection is held secure by the presence of a screw.  Finally you need to clip the vacuum head in place.  This head is Delta or snake-head shaped which helps when you need to get into those small spaces.  In both cases the actual fitting together of the various elements did require a fair degree of force in order to achieve the necessary connection.

Once you have connected the various elements together you will have a vacuum cleaner that has a height of 120cm and is coloured predominately matt silver.  While this height will prove useful when you need to vacuum under large tables or behind furniture, it does make handling the unit a little awkward.  Unfortunately there is no way to adjust this height.  The only flexibility you get is with the head / handle connection.  The handle can be twisted left and right to help guide the head element into various nooks and crannies.

Before using the “Air Force” it will need to be charged.  This operation is carried out using the supplied lead and mains plug which attaches to a socket located on the unit’s handle.  The charging cycle takes 16 hours and this will give you up to 40 minutes of usage.  A recharging light on the handle indicates when this process is active.

A slider on/off switch on the front of the handle element features two settings allowing you to switch between using the “Air Force” on the floor or carpet.  When selecting the carpet setting a light will glow on the front of the handle and the unit’s electrobrush will operate at a higher speed so increasing the noise level (while the noise is not excessive, it is noticeable and was not to my cat’s liking) thus reducing the amount of time between recharges.

Instead of a disposable dust bag, the “Air Force” has a removable plastic container that forms part of the unit’s main body.  Removing this container, which does tend to fill up rather quickly, is a simple matter and just requires you to press buttons on either side of the compartment.  A latched lid can be opened and the content emptied into an appropriate receptacle. 

It is recommended that you regularly clean the dust compartment.  This process involves removing the dust separator and filter foam which need to be cleaned with warm water and allowed to dry before being replaced.  A spare filter foam, which carries out the task of protecting the unit’s motor, is supplied and can be used while the original filter foam is drying.

Living in a maisonette that has long corridors with rooms well set apart, I was more than happy at not needing to unplug and then plug in this vacuum cleaner into different power sockets as I moved around.  I was also pleased with the quality of the cleaning carried out by the “Air Force” although it did take a couple of sessions before I felt in total control with regards to navigate around corner and furniture.  However I should point out that my tests were carried out over a period of two weeks and take no account of any fall-off in performance following regular use over a lengthier period.

The Rowenta “Air Force” is suitable for those who cleaning needs spread over several rooms.  It takes up little storage space and can easily be kept constantly recharges.  Rowenta has priced this cordless vacuum cleaner at £129.99.

http://www.rowenta.co.uk/rowenta/frame.aspx

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OverallRowenta Air Force rated 76 out of 100

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