As one of the few carpet cleaning companies in town that insist on pre-vacuuming your carpet before applying cleaning agents we are often asked to inspect the condition of the home owners vacuum cleaner and all too often we see signs of serious neglect. I thought I’d post this up to help people learn the basics of regular vacuum cleaner maintenance.
Lets start with Filters.. All vacuum cleaners have a filter or filters to protect the motor from large particles and another to filter the motors exhaust.
- Filters must be maintained/changed according to type as recommended by the manufacturer. Filters that are clogged can severely impact air flow and the vacuum’s performance. In the absence of any specific guidelines, inspect filters for condition and change as required.
If filters are washable, clean, dry completely and replace.
- You may be able to clean filters by vacuuming them with another vacuum, or blowing out the dirt with an air hose.
- Follow recommendations for filter replacements or change more frequently if warranted due to the type of dirt/dust that has been vacuumed.
- HEPA filters should be changed according to your product manual or at least annually
- Inspect the condition of all brush attachments and remove debris, threads, wood chips, lint and other debris which can hinder air flow through the bristles or within the attachment.
- Check for food residue or sticky substances which can cause odors and prevent brush bristles from free movement.
- Brushes in the power bar or nozzle attachment should also be checked routinely to clear debris.
- Brushes that use air (turbine powered) to spin the brush (Miele canister and wall built in units) it is even more crucial to keep the brush free of hair and yarn. Almost any build up will keep the brush roll from turning.
- With vacuums that use a rubber belt it is crucial to inspect the condition of the belt every month if not more. The rubber supply and quality has greatly diminished over the past few years. We are seeing belts stretch or crack extremely quick. In some cases after just a few hundred feet of use. A worn, cracked or loose belt will not spin the brush roll at the proper speed (or at all) to removed embedded dirt and sand. ALWAYS test the speed or moment of your brush roll while the vacuum is ON THE CARPET. You or a family member will need to lay or kneel on the carpet to do so. A worn belt will still work with not resistance but once placed on the carpet it will stop moving and you may not notice as you’ll still be sucking up visible debris like leaves, lint and crumbs and Lego heads..
- Check for cracks which can cause air leaks. If detected, you can often repair temporarily with tape, but the hose should be replaced to maintain a tight seal.
- Check the interior of your hose for obstacles and clear. Tissues, hair pins or fabric can often become lodged within the hose and can restrict air flow and suction performance.
- Remember, vacuum cleaners for your carpet are not meant to eat nails, staples, rocks or other potentially damaging items. Dust and dirt is their primary food!
Bagless Vacuum Features:
- Bagless vacuums have separators or cyclone mechanisms that enable the dirt to transfer into the dust/dirt receptacle or bin. These require routine checks for debris that can impede performance. Review your product manual for cleaning steps. if you vacuum once a week, have one or two pets, kids and husbands that play in the year, plan on cleaning the dirt cup container (most can be washed out completely with a garden hose) and filters once a month to maintain good suction.
Vacuum Exterior and Attachments:
- Keep your vacuum’s exterior in good condition by wiping it as needed when unplugged, with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Wipe spills on your vacuum exterior to prevent unpleasant odors.
- Store your vacuum attachments on board or in a routine storage area to reduce the risk of losing accessories.
Monitor Motor Performance
- If you detect a burning smell from the motor or loud noises when the vacuum is operated, it may require technician servicing. Prompt attention could save your motor, but ignoring this warning sign could mean a motor replacement at a higher cost later.
- Never use a regular vacuum for wet spills or cleaning tasks. Use only a wet/dry vacuum that is designed with sealed components especially for this purpose.
- Review your vacuum warranty and ensure required repairs or servicing are completed before the warranty period ends.
and by all means don’t suffer with an old, heavy, hard to push or operate vacuum cleaner. You just wont use it often enough and your carpet and indoor air quality will suffer.
Vacuum cleaner technology has come a long way in the last few years and while all the marketing claims can be confusing feel free to give me a call for suggestion for what model would work best for you!
Originally posted by MikeP on Santacruzclean.com