How often do we think about our vacuum cleaner in our hectic daily life, not really right? But when it comes to cleaning up our place, we want the vacuum cleaner to be easy to use, pick up all the dirt and make our work easy and effective. Topic worth discussing is how often do we care about maintaining our vacuum cleaner so that it lasts long and always works at its optimum efficiency? Just as any other machinery, like a car or a sewing machine, a vacuum cleaner usually requires some maintenance.

You would be surprised to know that  American household spend about 262 dollars on an average every two years on buying a vacuum cleaner. Most people opt for cheaper vacuums and goes through two or three in a two year span. I would talk about how to choose a right vacuum for your needs in my next blog but today I want to talk about some easy, non-expensive measures, which would prolong life on your existing vacuum.

Before we start creating a checklist, lets talk about what makes a vacuum cleaner effective. In order for a vacuum to pick up most dirt it should have good suction, good agitation and good airflow. Lets now talk about these vacuum qualities, factors affecting these and what you can do to make it work better.

Good suction is important to pick up dirt, and most vacuums will have good suction when they are new regardless of the price. They loose suction over time and here is what you need to do to keep the suction level optimum. If your vacuum is bagless make sure to wash out the dirt container each time you finish a vacuum job. Since you are collecting all the dust in the dirt container/ bin, the pores that pull the dirt would start getting clogged and result in loss of suction. Also every vacuum cleaner regardless of bag v/s bagless, upright v/s canister will have two filters. First one is called pre motor filter, which protects dust going into the motor, and second the post motor filter which captures the dirt going out of the vacuum and provides you filtration.

To get good suction and maintain good airflow, make sure your pre filter is not clogged. Most pre filters are made of form based material and are washable. I would recommend you to wash pre filter and dirt container after use and make sure to dry them over night before using it again. In case of a bagged vacuum, check your bag before vacuuming and if it is more than 2/3 filled it is recommended to use a new bag for better suction.

The second important factor in effective carpet cleaning is agitation we get from vacuum cleaner. Most vacuums get their agitation through a belt, which is spinning between the motor and the roller brush. This belt provides the vacuum roller agitation so that it can pull dirt inside carpet fibers while vacuuming. It would be advisable to check if your roller brush is spinning before you start vacuuming the carpets. In case if it is not spinning check if your machine has a bare floor mode and switch it to carpet mode, if not try to spin the roller brush with your hand and see if it is loose or tight. Usually when a belt breaks the roller will spin freely when you try to move it.

I recommend you to change the belts on your vacuum cleaner every 6 months to a year depending on your usage, even if it is not broken. The flat belts stretches out over time and will affect the speed of the roller thus affecting the total agitation you are get out of your vacuum. Another aspect of agitation would be keeping your roller brush clean. Check your roller brush each time after vacuuming and make sure it’s free from any hair or threads tangled on it. Pile-ups of hair and threads can use belts to break faster and will also affect the agitation capabilities.

Also for your vacuum cleaner to last longer, another thing to watch out would be the filter. The post motor filter is very important. It is not only protecting you by capturing the dirt coming out of vacuum, it also maintains airflow. Check your filter every 6 months to a year; if they appear dark/ clogged, it is time you change them. Most people are lazy in changing post filters and end up over heating and burning the vacuum motor. Most post-motor or exhaust filters are made with compressed paper, so they should not be washed. Washing them will produce odor and also they still remain clogged. Pre motor filters are generally washable but used be changed over a period of time as well.

So based on the topics talked about, here is the checklist to follow to keep your vacuum cleaner in good shape.

  • Change belts every 6 months to one year even if they are not broken. Most belts will cost around $3 dollars to $6 dollars.
  • Clean your roller brush after every use to avoid belt break or even melting the end caps of the roller which will result in spending more money.
  • Change the post and pre motor filter every 6 months to one year.
  • Change bags when they are 2/3 full. In case of bagless vacuum, wash the dirt container/bin each time after use and make sure it dries overnight before next use.
  • Never pick up dry wall dust or any liquid or semi liquid dirt. This will damage your motor. Get a shop-vac for these needs.

If you have any questions related to this or any other topic. Post me comments and I will promptly reply you with the feedbacks.



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