6 Tips for Giving Your Upright Vacuum Cleaner a Tune-Up

Don’t let this happen to your upright vacuum cleaner!

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1. Brush Adjustment
Think that the brush adjustment option on your vacuum cleaner is just for show? Think again. It’s critical to the life of the brush, the vacuum AND your carpet life! Improper brush adjustment actually causes your vacuum to perform poorly, wear out faster, overheat, and can cause damage to your carpeting. Carpet pile lengths and textures vary and the point of having a brush on a vacuum is to sweep the dust, dirt & debris up and into the vacuum. If you have the brush too high for your carpeting then it’s not doing anything. If it’s too low it wears out both your carpeting and your brush. Make sure to check your brush every so often to see if it needs replacing, as it’s cheaper to replace a brush then a vacuum.

2. Vacuum Filters
Filters are like the lungs of a vacuum. As your vacuum cleaner ‘breathes’ in air full of dirt, dust and whatever else is lurking in your carpeting, the filter traps the fine particles that don’t collect in the bag. HEPA filters are a type of air filter that must remove 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles and greatly increase indoor air quality in a building. In order for any filter to accomplish their job properly they need to be clean. A vacuum is basically large pump: it sucks air in, cleans it and redistributes it back out. Dirty filters cause dirty air to be redistributed back into your building, which can cause allergy & asthma problems for the occupants. If you’re using a vacuum in a commercial setting on a daily basis, HEPA filters should be checked every six months. Non-HEPA filters need to be checked more often. If the filter is dirty, then it should be replaced. Another sign that a filter needs to be replaced is if you start detecting a musty smell.

3. Change the Bag More Often
Vacuum cleaner bags shouldn’t be filled to capacity before they are changed as dirt & dust will start escaping back into the air. The best time to change the bag is when it is at three-quarters full. There’s nothing more frustrating then vacuuming a 6,000 square foot facility only to discover that everything that got ‘vacuumed’ has created a new layer of dust over everything. Plus you’ve now just breathed in all of that dust. Another clue that your bag needs replacing is when you notice that the vacuum is not picking up properly. The less dust & dirt on the floor leads to less of it in the air and equals better indoor air quality.


6 Tips for Giving Your Upright Vacuum Cleaner a Tune-Up


4. Undue Wear & Tear
As easy as it seems to just drag a vacuum cleaner around from one place to the next, excessive lugging & bouncing of your vacuum on uneven surfaces, such as parking lots, or bumping & hauling on the edge of the stairs will cause damage to the components. Unlike cars, vacuums have no built-in suspension system, so they cannot handle lots of jostling. Same goes for the cord. You don’t want to pull your vacuum by the cord, as not only will it potentially ruin your vacuum, but it may cause an electrical hazard. Vacuum cleaners can be heavy-duty, but taking care of how you treat them will make them last longer.

5. Routinely Clean the Brush Roller
Want to avoid vacuum overheating and that burnt hair or rubber smell? Gently turn the vacuum over on its side and remove the dust bunnies and hair that get wrapped around the brush roller. Inevitably long strands of hair work their way around the roller as you vacuum the floor, and the more that collects, the more likely you’ll have issues with the performance of your vacuum. The rubber scent usually means that there may even be damage to a belt from the dirt, dust & hair clog. It’s best to clean the brush roller after each vacuuming session. If you get in the habit, it becomes part of your routine and the vacuum will be all ready to go for the next time.

6. Maintenance is NOT a Warranty Issue, but an Education
Education & training may be one of the most important tools that you can provide your staff! There are multiple benefits to teaching someone what to troubleshoot, how to fix the issue and why. Money will be saved, not only on repairs, but on the downtime of your vacuum being in the shop, which means an increase in productivity. Plus your employee will have a sense of pride and accomplishment on having fixed the problem. Obviously there are times when it’s necessary to bring a piece of equipment in for repair, but maintaining your vacuum cleaner is like maintaining your floors – the more you take care of it, the better condition it’ll be in & the longer it’ll last.