Vacuum Cleaner Tune Up

Vacuum Cleaner Tune Up

Get your vacuum ready for the busy cleaning season with a yearly tune up

As fall approaches and the weather starts to turn we tend to spend more time indoors. Even though we usually associate extra cleaning with the spring, fall can be busy for our homes as well. Tracked in mud, leaves, and approaching holiday parties can result in an increased amount of time spent cleaning. Ensure you’re ready for the challenge by giving your vacuum a yearly tune up:

Why it is important to change/clean vacuum filters:

  • As the air flows through the vacuum the filters block excess dirt particles from leaving the machine. Over time the filters become clogged with the debris and can cause the vacuum to loose suction. This lowers the cleaning capabilities of the vacuum.
  • Disposable filters should be replaced every 12-18 months, or more frequently depending on usage and manufacturer recommendation.
  • Washable filters should be cleaned every 1-6 months, and left to dry for 24-48 hours before being used. Over time, washable filters will breakdown and should be replaced if damaged.

Why it is necessary to change vacuum belts:

  • Over time flat rubber belts stretch out or break completely. This is due to it always being under tension or picking up something that caused the agitator (brush roll) to jam – think socks and shoe laces. When the belt isn’t in the optimal shape the agitator can’t spin at the proper speed (or at all) and won’t have enough strength to effectively clean the carpets.
  • Flat rubber belts should be changed every 12-18 months; whereas cogged and serpentine belts should be changed every 5 years. Belts will need to be changed sooner if damaged or broken.
  • Changing belts at home is usually a simple and straightforward process.  However, some machines (Dyson and certain Miele’s) have belts that need to be changed by a service centre. Refer to your owner’s manual for directions, as each machine is different.

Why it is necessary to clean the agitator (brush bar):

  • Hair and fibers that are wrapped around the agitator can get into the end caps, the fixed parts that hold the brush in place, and seize the ball bearing’s that allow the brush to spin. If this happens the brush won’t turn or clean properly.
  • As debris gets wrapped around the agitator it causes the bristles to get constrained and will eventually build up to the point where it covers them. When this happens the bristles won’t make proper contact with the carpet surface resulting in an inefficient clean.
  • This is a common occurrence for all vacuums. Check the agitator every 4-5 uses and clean when debris is starting to accumulate. It’s easier to clean small amounts frequently, then to wait until it all piles up!

How to clean the agitator (brush bar) on your vacuum:

  • Many vacuum cleaners have screws or access points on the bottom of the machine that allows you to open the power head and remove the agitator for thorough cleaning. However, many others cannot be opened. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine if yours can be opened at home.
  • If your agitator can be removed use a pair of scissors or seam ripper to cut the hair and fibers the length of the agitator. Sometimes you need to use a stiff wire brush to clean the bristles if string or hair is stuck in them as well. Be sure to spend some time cleaning the end caps.
  • If your agitator can’t be removed use a knife or seam ripper to cut the hair and fibers while it is still installed in the machine. After doing this you should now be able to pull the material off of the agitator.

The above information applies to most canister, upright, hand, stick, and central vacuum systems. If you are unsure about the cleaning requirements of your vacuum please contact us by email ( or phone (1-877-537-8227) with your make and model number. We’d love to help!

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