Do you know if your vacuum cleaner is functioning at peak performance? After all, even the smallest lack of performance can make a difference in how clean you carpet is between cleaning. It is best to understand how a vacuum cleaner works to really understand how a vacuum cleans and how to keep your carpets looking their best.

A vacuum cleaner works essentially in the same way no matter what the style of vacuum. The entire point of a vacuum cleaner is to remove soil from the carpet. Here is how each vacuum cleaner works on a fundamental level.

  1. An electric motor turns a fan which in turn creates suction.
  2. A brush turns and agitates the carpet and dirt.
  3. The combination of the two forces lift dirt from the carpet.

If it looks simple, it is because it is.

So, if it is so simple, why are there so many broken and unusable vacuum cleaners floating around? This is a simple answer as well – little to no preventative maintenance.

Much like a car, your HVAC system and any mechanical device, your vacuum cleaner should be regularly maintained for the best results and lifetime. A poorly working vacuum cleaner can return or leave soil in the carpet, and this defeats the purpose of the vacuum completely.

Here is what you can do to be sure your vacuum cleaner is always working at its peak condition. Remember: Regular vacuuming is not a substitute for a solid carpet cleaning.

  1. A bad smell – Funky odors are not normal. You need to check the filter as it may be clogged. The odor is from the soil entering the air.
  2. Canister filter vacuum cleaners have a tornado look inside of the clear canister. If you do not see the twisting action, you are not pulling debris and dirt in the way you should.
  3. The motor – A vacuum motor has to breathe to be effective. If it is not breathing correctly, then you will ruin your vacuum. It will need to be regularly cleaned and maintained. It is best to take care of it after each use of the vacuum. Here is what you should do:
    • Unplug the unit
    • Remove bag or canister;
    • Replace bag/empty canister;
    • Check and clean filter, replacing if necessary;
    • Check and replace belt if necessary.

There you have it. Ways to keep your vacuum cleaner in top condition for a long time.

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