When your vacuum cleaner develops a fault, do not immediately think of dumping it and purchasing a new one. The fault may be a minor one, like cleaning the filter, or replacing a broken hose. Small do-it-yourself repairs or cheap replacements can often add years to your vacuum’s life.
A little understanding of the functioning of the different vacuum cleaner parts can help you in getting the maximum life out of your appliance.
How vacuum cleaners function
Vacuum cleaners function on the principle of air pressure, that is, air from areas of high air pressure flows in towards areas of low air pressure. This principle can be explained with an-every-day-example. When we drink juice from a glass using a straw, an area of low pressure is created inside the mouth when we suck in. Air from the high air pressure that exists around the glass, gushes in towards the low pressure area in the mouth pushing the liquid along with it. In the same way, the motor in the vacuum cleaner creates low air pressure inside the cleaner. Air from outside the machine gushes in to fill the vacuum or the low pressure area inside the cleaner. Dirt and dust is sucked in when the air flows in. The air inside the cleaner is directed to flow through a filter which collects the dirt, dust and debris in the air. The dirt deposits in to a bag or a container depending on the type of cleaner.
Hence, the most important parts in a standard vacuum cleaner are the motor, fan, filter. Fan attached to the motor is what creates a vacuum inside the cleaner.
Common vacuum faults
Loss of suction
You decide to clean a dusty floor surface in your home. Even after two or three passes, you notice that the floor is not cleaned. The dust is still there. A possible reason for this could be your vacuum losing suction power. Dirty or worn out dust bags, dirty filters, or clogged suction path, worn out hose or the motor could be the reason for loss in suction power.
Vacuum cleaners that use dust bags, collect the dirt present in the air passing through the cleaner, into dust bags. These dust bags can either be reusable bags made of fabric or disposable paper bags.You would need to empty the dust bags as often as possible depending on the frequency of use and the nature of the area on which the appliance is operated. Dust bags that are full or even two-thirds full lead to reduced suction and compromise the amount of dust that can be collected. Tears or holes on the bags affect the suction power. Damaged bags or bags that are more than two-thirds full must be immediately replaced. If your machine uses reusable bags, they need to be changed regularly. Always find the correct replacements to keep your vacuum operating at its peak performance. The manufacturer’s notings regarding the type of bags suitable for your particular vacuum model, can be your guide.
Dirty or clogged filters can cause loss of suction. Some machines are fitted with HEPA filters which are said to last a life time. Running tap water through the filters would most times be sufficient to clean them. Ordinary filters would need to be replaced once every six months.
It’s important to replace your vacuum filter or HEPA filter regularly to keep your vacuum working best. Not only will this increase the life of your vacuum, it will also keep unwanted dust, dirt and allergens out of the air.
Blockages in the airflow
Any blockages or clogs in the path of air flowing through the machine can also result in reduced or no suction. First check the hose that connects the brush roll to the machine. If the suction at the point of joining the machine is good but low at the other end of the hose, there could be some debris blocking the free flow of air, inside the hose. Try and run thin stick through the length of the hose. Any dust or debris would be forced out that way.
Any tear or holes in the hose could also reduce the suction. Constant usage over a period of time could result in wear and tear. Replace the hose with the new one.
After every use check the level of dust in the dust bags. Clean the filters, and wipe the machine dry. Look for any pet hair or human hair or loose strings sticking to the brush roll. Spending a little time on maintenance would help to extend the life of your vacuum cleaner. When any of the vacuum cleaner parts require replacement, always look for the genuine replacements.