A vacuum cleaner, whether stick, handheld, upright, canister, or robotic, is an essential cleaning tool in every home. Various individuals have different tastes when it comes to vacuums, but what matters most is what you choose and how well it meets your cleaning needs.
However, vacuum cleaners do not last forever, and you will undoubtedly come to a point where you will need to replace your vacuum cleaner. You can deep clean the vacuum, fix the places and attachments that require repair, but eventually, you will need a new one.
The idea that you will have to replace your vacuum eventually does not mean that you have to use your tool while continually looking for faults so that you can get a new one. It merely means that you enjoy using your cleaner while it is intact without worry.
In this post we will cover:
- When to Replace a Vacuum Cleaner
- Is it worth fixing a vacuum cleaner?
- How much does it cost to service a vacuum cleaner?
- How do you maintain a vacuum cleaner?
- Is it OK to vacuum every day?
- What should I look for when buying a vacuum cleaner?
- How many watts is a good vacuum cleaner?
How Often Should You Replace Your Vacuum Cleaner?
Knowing when to replace your vacuum is not and should not be an arduous task. There are many indicators that can point you in that direction, depending on your vacuum’s model and lifespan.
Generally, a vacuum’s life is expected to be eight years, but typical usage can drastically affect that life span. Various vacuums have different longevity because of the materials that have been utilized to make them. Some of these are discussed below.
The Life Span of a Vacuum Cleaner
1. Upright Vacuum
The upright vacuum is one of the most common traditional machines on the market. There are various models of the upright vacuum, but each is made for specific or multiple cleaning needs.
The longevity of the upright vacuum is estimated to be eight years when it is properly maintained. However, the real world is not a perfect bubble where the vacuum cleaner always last for eight years.
Everyday usage of the vacuum can make it last for less long up to six years, while it can reach up to ten or twelve years depending on how it is used and who is using it.
Other factors also include the manufacturers of the vacuums and the quality of the attachments included in them.
2. Handheld Vacuum
The vacuum is a small portable version of the upright vacuum. The machine is not made for heavy use, but for small tasks, which it handles efficiently.
You can use the handheld vacuum to clean couches, beds, sofas, and pet hair. The life span of the vacuum is mostly between five to eight years, depending on how it is maintained.
3. Canister Vacuum
A canister vacuum is a portable machine that is capable of handling messes effectively as an upright vacuum. More quality materials are used in designing the canister to provide you with a great experience when cleaning.
The canister vacuum lasts between eight to ten years, most of the time. Its longevity is attributed to its maneuverability, meaning no part of it will experience any strain, and its potential to clean many types of messes.
4. Robot Vacuum
A robot vacuum is a worry-free, painless, and automated machine that works by itself. It is suitable for those who are always busy and have little time to vacuum.
The life expectancy of robot vacuums can be between three to five years based on how well they are maintained. Some robot vacuums can last between five to eight years, depending on the battery’s longevity.
Robot vacuums lack replaceable batteries, and when the life of the battery ends, so does that of the machine.
If you want to increase the vacuum’s life span, you will have to remove any cords in the ground on the vacuum’s path and anything else that the machine usually gets stuck on while cleaning.
Over time, these things can wear the brush away and even knock the vacuum sensor loose.
5. Stick Vacuum
The stick vacuum is a lighter version of the upright vacuum. It is suitable for individuals who have back pain and the elderly. Its weight is much less than the canister and upright vacuums.
You can use the stick vacuum for multi-surface cleaning, such as the floor, any upper place of the floor, and the ceiling.
The vacuum’s maneuverability is also easy as it does not require to be plugged into an electric power source while being used.
These features provide the stick vacuum with a longer life span of between six to eight years, depending on how it is used.
Elements that Extend the Life of a Vacuum Cleaner
The first is the brand of the vacuum that you are purchasing so that you can understand its value. You should know how long it has been in the industry and the quality of the service and products the brand has introduced.
A brand that has gained the trust of the users has an established authority, such as Shark, Dyson, Bissell, and Hoover.
The second is the material that makes up the vacuum. Vacuums made of low-quality materials will have a much shorter life span than those made of high-quality materials.
Since a vacuum is made of various elements and attachments, it is essential to consider the material quality of things like the hose, rolling brush, filtration, wand, main body, and a dust container.
The third is the usage of the vacuum. You have to use the machine in the correct manner because one of the things that shortens the longevity of a vacuum is improper use.
Individuals who live alone will create different messes than families with multiple children and pets. Purchasing a vacuum that can handle the size of your family and pets, if you have any, will ensure that it will last a long time while cleaning your home.
The fourth step is maintenance, which ensures that the machine operates consistently. How long you use and clean your vacuum is critical because proper care results in quality cleaning over time.
Some people vacuum every day, while others vacuum once a week, twice a week, or twice a month. However, regardless of how a vacuum is used, it must be in good working order.
It is critical to clean the vacuum’s bristles and brushes after each use. If they have any loose strings or hair, cut them with scissors and sanitize the brushes with a disinfectant spray.
After every few uses, empty the canister of the vacuum instead of waiting for it to fill up. Check the filters and soak them once a month, then clean them. Deep clean your vacuum completely by disassembling it annually.
When to Replace a Vacuum Cleaner
The replacement of a vacuum cleaner is inevitable. However, before getting rid of your old machine, it is crucial to consider several things. The first is to make sure that there is no clogging of the vacuum’s hoses.
A clog can be easily removed by a hook that fits into the hoses. Secondly, check if the filter needs cleaning or replacement, because if the filter is clogged, it will reduce airflow and decrease suction power.
The third is the drive belts, which have the tendency of coming off the track, stretching, or rotting. Fixing a belt drive is easy, and if you cannot repair it, it should be replaced.
If there are no clogs, the filter is clean, and the drive belts are intact, or none of them improves your vacuum’s functioning, then it is time to upgrade.
How often you should replace your vacuum cleaner usually depends on the type of vacuum that you have. If you purchased your machine at a “superstore”, its replacement should be done every three to five years.
However, there are many factors that will help you to know when a replacement is due. The first is decreased suction power, which is usually caused by the filler.
If the filter is new and the suction is not sufficient, then you should do away with the vacuum before it scratches your carpet, floors, or rugs.
The second indication that you should replace your vacuum is when it makes extra noises while being used. As the vacuum gets older due to continued use, the vacuum parts also get older and weaker.
The depreciation will cause the vacuum to produce sounds that are irritating quite often. If you notice this in your vacuum, then it is time to replace it.
The third is having too many replacements for the different parts of the vacuum. It is usually normal to replace various parts of the vacuum over the years, but when the replacements become more and happen quite often, it is time to consider something new.
That does not mean that the replacements you have been doing are poor. It simply means that the machine has run its course and its primary mechanisms are no longer useful.
The fourth indication to replace your unit is when your vacuum is emitting pollutants, which is usually the case with older vacuums that have been used for many years.
Therefore, hand-me-downs given by close family members and friends are not ideal because you could be dragging a decade’s old dirt around your home. Since the median longevity of a vacuum is eight years, when it reaches this mark, it is time to consider replacing it.
The fifth pointer to replace your machine is when the vacuum has a burning plastic smell and when it turns itself off. That can be caused by wheels or rotors that are jammed, and sometimes it is hair stuck in the wheel that is preventing rotation.
The hair can be untangled and cut, but the burning smell is a concern because the vacuum can catch fire. Therefore, replacement is necessary.
A vacuum is an essential tool in cleaning and tiding a home, and if yours is old or broken, cleaning should not be an uphill task because of a vacuum that no longer functions properly. It is essential to acknowledge and know when your machine is beyond repair.
When it is time to replace the vacuum, you will know because the indicators will be very clear, such as when the features that allow it to clean properly no longer work and cannot be repaired, and when the vacuum has been repaired one time too many.
Do not allow yourself to suffer and be frustrated by using a vacuum that only makes things worse for you. Replace it because you cannot force it to work when it can no longer serve your cleaning needs anymore. Just replace you vacuum and your will be happier.
Is it worth fixing a vacuum cleaner?
There are times when repairing a vacuum is necessary, affordable, fixable, and worthwhile. Some repairs, even on older vacuums, are reasonable if the cost is less than half that of a new model. There are a variety of low-cost repairs that you can perform on your own.
The first is that if the vacuum is difficult to push across the carpet, simply raise its height a notch if the machine has a manual carpet height adjustment. The carpet will be damaged if it is raised too high. There are no costs associated with resolving this issue.
The second is when the brush roll of the vacuum barely turns, if it turns, when it should turn. You can fix the problem by checking if there is fabric, hair, or debris on the brush and remove them.
Other times, you may need to replace the brush rolls, the drive belt, or both. The cost of repairing the problem can range between $3 and $40.
The third is weak suction without clogs in the hoses of the vacuums. Many vacuums have multiple filters that can be clogged with dust, and the clogging will reduce the suction power of the vacuum. For vacuums that are bagless, the solution is replacing or cleaning the filters that protect the vacuum’s motor and trap dirt.
Washable filters can be removed and cleaned with plain water, and make sure that the filters are dry before putting them back in the vacuum. Wet filters can blow the vacuum’s motors.
Paper model filters have to be replaced. For vacuums with a bag, the best solution is to replace the bag. The repairs cost from $10 to $70 for non-washable filters.
The fourth is when the vacuum stops working while being used. That is usually caused by an overload switch in the vacuum that cuts power when the motor gets extremely hot.
Most vacuums consist of protection features that turn off the motor to prevent it from overheating and burning. The solution is to give the motor a few minutes to cool and then restart it afterward.
Overheating can also be caused by clogs or a full bin or bag. That can be remedied by unclogging the hoses and emptying the container or bag. The repair does not come at any cost.
The fifth is when some items, such as paper clips, get stuck in the vacuum’s hoses. The problem can be solved by unclogging the hose using a broomstick at no cost.
The sixth is when the vacuum has a burning smell, or the beater box is not moving, which is caused by a broken belt. You can purchase the vacuum belts for $ 3 to $ 20 based on the machine’s model.
However, there are instances when a vacuum cleaner is too old to repair when it is broken. For example, when it comes to upright vacuum cleaners, they are not worth fixing after five years, and the same goes for canister vacuums after seven years.
The unfixable problems of a vacuum include when it is immersed in water, sucks up water, or when a large amount of water spills on it.
Residential vacuums and water are incompatible when they mix, and the repair is not worth it. At this point, just replace the machine.
How much does it cost to service a vacuum cleaner?
It is crucial to service your vacuum regularly to keep it in good working condition. The service is usually provided by vacuum cleaner retailers and all leading manufacturers.
A vacuum requires servicing when it has no power or keeps cutting out, loses suction, is louder than usual, has a burning smell, and excessive hotness.
The cost is not high and reduces the risk of significant repairs caused by poor maintenance. The prices of servicing vacuums vary depending on the part that requires to be serviced.
When replaced, the cord costs $15 to $30. The replacement of a roller can cost from $15 to $55, the interior hose is $15 to $35, a new handle costs $5 to $25, filter replacement is around $5 to $17, bags for older vacuum models cost $3 to $10, and the belt is $2 to $5.
A weak suction will require you to replace the vacuum’s filter and have the internal components cleaned. The service will cost $20 to $60. Replacing basic brushes will require $25 to $45, and basic cleaning will also range in the same amounts.
How do you maintain a vacuum cleaner?
The maintenance of a vacuum is essential. A vacuum cleaner is maintained by cleaning it in various ways at different times.
A 2008 study by Arizona University researchers found that vacuums and their brushes are usually filled with bacteria and germs. Fifty percent of the tested vacuums had fecal bacteria. Thirteen percent had E. coli and all of the vacuums had mold.
In 2013, a study in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that the vacuums they tested had more toxic genes, mold, and bacteria that had antibiotic-resistant genes.
When these components are emitted and inhaled by humans, the allergenic and infectious aerosol effects can be worse for those suffering from allergies. Therefore, cleaning the vacuums is essential.
After every use, the bristles and brushes need cleaning, so you should check them for hair and debris that might get stuck on them. If there are loose strings and hair present wrapped around them, they should not be pulled out. Instead, they should be cut out using a pair of scissors.
After a few uses, the canister of the vacuum should be emptied instead of waiting for it to fill up. That eliminates any potential bacteria or germs before they take hold of the vacuum and boosts your vacuum’s performance.
The filters of the vacuum should be cleaned once every month. Check the machine’s manual to see the location of the filter and how to remove it properly. If it is washable, remove it, shake it, and rinse it under running water, then leave it to dry before putting it back.
The vacuum’s deep cleaning should be done on an annual basis. The things required for deep cleaning include dish soap, a can of air that is compressed, a cleaning brush, and dish soap.
Deep cleaning requires taking apart all removable parts, soaking all washable attachments, scrubbing them properly, and letting them dry before attaching them back.
Other ways of maintaining a vacuum include consistently emptying the dirtbag regularly to prevent clogging and prevent fine dust particles from being released into the air. The second is removing all dust and dirt to ensure that the rollers stay clean.
The third is cleaning the hose regularly to improve the sweeper’s efficiency. Clean the vent covers that are responsible for stopping significant bits of dirt from blowing to the back of the sweeper. Its other task is cooling the machine. The maintenance will add to the life span of your machine.
The fourth way of maintaining your vacuum is by servicing it regularly so that it can be in excellent working condition and extend the motor’s life span.
Is it OK to vacuum every day?
Vacuuming is an essential part of cleaning, and while some people can vacuum less, others do it more often. Too little vacuuming can be detrimental to your carpet and floors. If you do not vacuum frequently, the soil and dirt on the surfaces will accumulate, eventually causing wear and tear on your carpet.
Most wear occurs near the top of the carpet, and wear patterns that cannot be cleaned out begin to develop. However, frequent vacuuming significantly reduces these effects since it will remove the soil deposited on the carpet.
If you have pets, there will be more mess in your home because of the pet’s constant shading and other messes. In this case, you have to vacuum your home at least twice a week.
If you have no pets, then cleaning once a week is good enough. The question of how often you should vacuum your home is complex because vacuuming depends on different factors.
Important things to note are that people lose nearly one million skin particles or pieces every 24 hours, fifty to a hundred hair strands every day, and allergens from dog and cat fur can maintain their strength for many months once shade in the house.
The frequency of vacuuming can depend on the type of vacuum cleaner you have, and one with a sound filtration system will be suitable for cleaning.
The floor type of your house can also determine how often you should vacuum. Hard floors and tile floors should be cleaned every week because they do not hold bacteria and dust.
Carpeted floors require to be vacuumed once a week because the carpet absorbs grime and allows bacteria to accumulate on them.
Vacuuming can also be based on the usage of a room. High-traffic spaces in the home should be vacuumed every two to three days. The areas include children’s playroom, mudroom, hallways, and kitchen, which are used more often, and they collect a lot of dust and dirt.
The spaces that are seldom used in the house should be vacuumed every two weeks; this includes guest rooms, formal dining rooms, and other rooms with little traffic. Therefore, vacuuming does not have to be an everyday task because if you vacuum continually, 24 hours a day, that will be too much.
Vacuuming more often has a lot of advantages both for an individual’s well being and personally. People love to have clean homes, even those who do not like to do the cleaning themselves. A clean home is more inviting and welcoming.
Proper vacuuming removes harmful removes microbes, bacteria, dust, and mold attacks from the house, eliminating respiratory problems for those who have asthma and other allergies.
When these individuals inhale fine particles and dust, they might experience chest congestion, coughing, and skin symptoms, among other discomforts. Many vacuums have air filters that purify the air in your home when you vacuum regularly.
Vacuuming also has physical and social benefits. Some research has indicated that those who take time to clean their homes are more active and healthier. Research by Indiana University found that people make contributions to their health through cleaning their houses.
When you vacuum, you do a lot more exercise, which is a kind of cardio, instead of taking long walks in the park. Psychologically, the thought of cleaning gives you a feeling of accomplishment and the satisfaction of seeing the dirt disappear from your house.
Vacuuming helps some people fight depression because the concentration of cleaning prevents bad thoughts while boosting their mood.
What should I look for when buying a vacuum cleaner?
The key to a clean home environment is having the best vacuum cleaner. While there are various models of vacuums on the market, there are some essential elements to look for when buying a vacuum.
The first is the machine’s runtime for cordless vacuums, which are powered by rechargeable batteries. The runtime is how long the machine will last using a single charge before its battery runs out.
Batteries with lithium-ion have a longer runtime, but the length of time varies between different models, but most of the batteries last 15 to 20 minutes, while others can last up to an hour on a single charge.
The lithium-powered batteries charge quickly and shut off when full to prevent overcharging. Vacuums with cords have no run time since they have to be plugged into an electric power source while being used.
The second is accessories, which are attachments that come with vacuum cleaners of different models. The accessories can include tools that tackle specific cleaning, areas, or surfaces, such as crevice tools for small spaces, dusting brushes for delicate items, and stiff bristles for dislodging grounded dirt.
Others include motorized pet tools with small brush rolls that are powered by a small air turbine. The brush roll pulls out dirt that is deeply embedded, human and pet hair, fibers, and other dirt from surfaces that have been cleaned.
An upholstery tool is also essential for upholstery vacuuming and other surfaces that need thorough cleaning.
The third is the suction power, because the vacuum’s overall performing power is determined by its suction power. Strong suction power is effective in removing dust and dirt particles.
The sucking power of a vacuum is determined by looking at the measurement of the vacuum’s airflow. Airflow is measured per minute in cubic feet (CFM), and the higher it is, the better the suction power of the vacuum and its cleaning.
The fourth is filters, since some machines consist of HEPA filters and technology for neutralizing bacteria, dust mites, and viruses from surfaces that are flat, known as UV disinfection. If a person in your home has breathing difficulties or allergies, consider purchasing a vacuum with advanced technologies such as these.
The fifth is the waste container for the vacuum. Whether a machine is bagless or bagged, a dirtbag or bin requires regular emptying.
Most vacuums that are full-sized require a bin or bag of at least one-liter capacity, allowing you to vacuum large areas without any interruptions from having to empty the bin or bag in the middle of your cleaning. The container should be easy to empty after every use.
Bagless vacuums have a low cost of maintenance, while bagged ones tend to be messy when being emptied, unless they are disposable ones that close automatically to trap dirt inside. Lastly, is the ease of handling, using, and maintaining. A vacuum should be intuitive and easy to use.
How many watts is a good vacuum cleaner?
The use of energy in vacuum cleaners varies significantly depending on the model of the vacuum. A major driver of power usage is the motor, which uses watts of energy from 500 to 3,000, while an average vacuum uses 1,400 watts.
Other factors that affect a vacuum’s energy consumption include the type of surface being cleaned, the machine’s filtration system, and other extra features.
Vacuums that use less power can be as effective as those using higher wattage. Central vacuums designed for average homes have a wattage of 200-300 because they have a lower CFM rating.
A machine of good quality should have a range of 600-800 watts to give enough suction in homes of 2,500-6,000 square feet.
Large homes require vacuums with power units of at least 1,000 wattage to provide adequate suction. Most vacuums read a wattage of 1,000 if they are used for an hour.
However, some machines convert 1,000 watts to watts that are higher. For instance, a machine with a 12 amp converts to 1,400 watts an hour.
Linda Joan is a market researcher and publisher at Experts in Vacuum who has had an interest in topics related to vacuum cleaners since she was in university, out of curiosity and passion. She is now a full-time writer based in New York, New York.