A dirty pet vacuum is an ineffective pet vacuum. Proper use and maintenance will not only keep your appliance running at peak performance but also prevent overheating, save you a lot of money on repairs, and extend its operating lifespan.
Top-tier vacuum cleaners developed by renowned manufacturers are more resistant to improper maintenance, but they too will experience a significant drop in performance and last much shorter than they are supposed to if you do not take care of them properly.
Cleaning Vs. Maintenance
Although people generally use them as synonyms, cleaning and maintenance are not the same thing. Cleaning includes all the actions you have to perform frequently while maintenance encompasses a larger number of actions not necessarily limited to the actual body of the vacuum cleaner. Changing or emptying the bag, for example, falls under cleaning while treating the power cord with care represents an integral part of the maintenance process.
As we already mentioned, cleaning includes a number of actions performed on a regular basis. If you disregard these actions, your vacuum cleaner will start providing diminishing results, but it will not stop working altogether. In other words, cleaning your vacuum ensures 100% of its operating capacity at all times. The most common cleaning actions include:
Checking the bag regularly – Vacuums tend to lose their suction power when their bags are more than half full, so you should regularly check and clean your vacuum’s bag. You should never re-use paper bags since their pours get blocked after the initial use, which overheats the motor while it desperately tries to circulate the air.
Checking the floorhead for debris – Since the floorhead of a vacuum actually touches your floors and other surfaces, any blockage-causing debris first has to pass through it in order to reach the bag. Make sure to always remove any threads, fluff, hair, and other things that can tangle around the brush roll and cause potential problems.
Cleaning or changing the filter(s) – Some vacuums feature washable foam filters on the exhaust, others have HEPA as a pre-motor filtering solution. There are also plastic filters, which you can simply dust with a clot or a soft brush. Depending on whether or not they use bags, some models may feature several filters. It is, therefore, very important to familiarize yourself with your vacuum’s filtering system and follow the cleaning instructions to the letter for optimal performance.
Unlike cleaning, maintenance mostly includes actions that are either continuous or performed less frequently, including:
Treating the power cord with care – In order to avoid any problems with the power supply, you should not pull the plug out with the cord or use the automatic rewind if it is obstructed or tangled.
Removing large objects before vacuuming – Things like coins, screws, socks, and children’s toys can be pulled by the vacuum and cause a serious obstruction of the air-flow or even structural damage once they get to the main vacuuming unit.
Opening up the floorhead – If you cannot clean the floorhead from the outside, you should open it up and take the brush roll out for detailed cleaning. Some just unclip while others require a screwdriver.
Checking the vacuum belt – The belt can be inspected while the floorhead is open. It should be nice and tight, without any cracks or sagging.