Vacuum cleaners are significant investments that can last for years if they are taken care of properly. However, because of the nature of the type of work they do -- sucking up dirt, grime, pet dander -- they are vulnerable to breakdowns. Following are seven strategies to keeping your vacuum cleaner up and running at optimal levels for as long as possible.
Avoid Vacuuming Up Small Objects
Be sure to check the floor for small objects such as coins and pebbles because these can damage your vacuum cleaner's motor, fans, and nozzles if they get sucked up. It's also a good idea to have household residents put on slippers before they enter the main part of the house in order to avoid tracking unnecessary debris onto the carpet. Always turn your vacuum cleaner off immediately if you hear any sort of unexpected noise that sounds as if an object has been accidentally sucked up.
Do Not Vacuum Up Extremely Fine Dust
If you've got plaster dust on your floor as a result of a home improvement project, sweep it up rather than vacuuming the area. You should also avoid using powder carpet deodorizers or vacuuming up any other powders that happen to find their way to your floor. Fine powder and dust go right through the vacuum cleaner's filters and into the motor, where they can build up and create serious clogs.
Use a Pet Hair Removal Tool Before Vacuuming
Going over the carpet with an inexpensive, hand held pet hair removal tool before vacuuming the area will prevent pet hair from clogging up nozzles and filters. These tools resemble sponge mops and come with replaceable pet hair removal cloths.
Don't Vacuum on Wet Surfaces
Unless your vacuum cleaner is designed for use on both wet and dry surfaces, don't use it on wet surfaces -- doing so can cause immediate and possibly irreparable damage to your vacuum cleaner's motor.
Perform Routine Maintenance on Your Vacuum Cleaner
Routine maintenance will help keep your vacuum cleaner running smoothly and eliminate the need for costly repairs. Here's what you should do:
- Clean the motor and HEPA filters once every two months and replace them annually.
- Check the hoses and rods after each use for signs of blockage and clean them out on an as-needed basis. Using your vacuum cleaner while these parts are blocked may cause the motor to overheat.
- Clean the rotary brush after each use.
- Change the vacuum cleaner bag when it's only 1/2 to 2/3 full rather than waiting until it's at full capacity will help prevent your machine from losing suction power.
- Clean the filters on bagless vacuum cleaners after each use.
Along with everyday routine maintenance, you should also have your vacuum cleaner professionally serviced once per year. Regular servicing involves taking the vacuum cleaner apart and thoroughly cleaning it in order to remove all accumulated dust and grime.
Have Carpets Steam Cleaned Once or Twice Per Year
Regular professional steam cleaning can help extend the life of both your household carpets and your vacuum cleaner. Steam cleaning thoroughly removes all traces of dust, dirt, grime, pet dander, and assorted other particles that commonly find their way into household carpeting. Steam cleaning is particularly good for removing the fine particles that can bypass the vacuum cleaner's filters and damage the motor.
How often you have your carpet steam cleaned will depend on several factors, such as how large your family is, whether you have pets or children, and whether you live in a location that has significant amounts of atmospheric dust. Professionals like a hoover vacuum repair pro can assist you.