Imagine if you had a friend that traded in their car every time they needed an oil change. Maybe they dove way past the service date and ended up with major repair that could have been easily prevented. Pretty wasteful, huh? Unfortunately there are many folks who do just that with their vacuum cleaners every year and are just adding to our landfills. Like cars, vacuum cleaners will need periodic maintenance for them to perform properly over the years. If you even perform minor care like changing the belt or cleaning the filters you will prolong the life of your vacuum cleaner.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BROKEN
Did you know that most vacuum manufacturers recommend that you change your belt every 6 months for optimum performance? There are many people that bring their vacuums into our store with badly stretched belts that still think that because the belt isn't broken that it's fine. If your vacuum cleaner uses a standard tension driven stretch belt you should be changing it every 6 months for your vacuum to clean as effectively as it should. When the belt has proper tension it will drive the carpet brush at its the ideal speed, which in turn will lift up and clean the carpet fibers like it should.
The same reasoning applies to the brush roll of your vacuum cleaner. The bristles that rotate against the carpet will eventually wear out causing the vacuum to not pick up well. It is recommended to clean the brush roll and remove the hair from it every 3 months, more so if you have pets. Freeing the hair from the brush roll allows the bristles to agitate the carpet and clean effectively. The bristles will get worn out by either being shortened or worn out like an old toothbrush. They should be replaced every 3-5 years for optimal performance. You can either replace the whole brush roll or in some cases just the brush strips. You would be amazed to see what a difference a new set of brushes and a belt will make for your vacuum cleaner. It'll be like a new machine again!
YOUR VACUUM NEEDS TO BREATHE
Proper airflow is essential for a vacuum cleaners performance. As the air flows through your vacuum it "breathes" and should pick up all of the dirt and dust in its path. All vacuum cleaners today will have either a bag or bagless filtration system to trap the dirt. In either case you will have to do some upkeep from time to time to keep your vacuum performing correctly. If you allow the filters to get clogged or bags to fill up too far your vacuum will not pick up as it should and will likely overheat and turn off.
With a bagged vacuum cleaner maintenance is relatively easy. Most of today's bagged vacuum cleaners have a bag that slides on and off of a collar for use. There are now vacuums that have a dock system that not only holds the bag perfectly in place, but also helps seal the bag opening upon removal so there's no mess when you change the bag.
Bagless Vacuum maintenance on the other hand is much more detailed than a simple bag changing. There will be between 1 to 3 filters on today's bagless vacuums.The primary filter, pre filter, or dust cup filter will be the filters that need the most care and will require frequent thorough cleaning. This is the first area where there is any real filtration so it tends to get clogged rather quickly. In most cases these filters are hand-washed and have to dry for at least 24 hours before being put back in the vacuum. These filters will eventually deteriorate over time. It's best practice to clean these filters after each use to keep the airflow at peak performance.
The final level of filtration for any vacuum is the exhaust filter. This is the last stop before the air in your vacuum becomes the air that you breathe. There should be an exhaust filter or better yet a HEPA filter catching the super fine allergens that are expelled into the air. Exhaust filters will need to be replaced every 6 months to a year for proper upkeep. If these filters are not changed in a timely manner then they will cause the airflow to become restricted, which on turn will overheat the motor shortening its lifespan.
If you can keep up with these simple maintenance tips you will keep your vacuum in tip top shape and it will pick up well for years to come. The alternative is to have your vacuum fail after a short period of use because of things that could have been prevented then throw it away with better hopes for next time.