Why Vacuums Should Suck

Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 10, 2015
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:03:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- A vacuum's job seems pretty straight forward...suck up all the dust and dirt. So how do you get the most out of your machine?  We find out in this Angie's List report.

Whether you spent $200 or $2,000 on your vacuum, you want it want it to perform well each time you pull it out of the closet. That means knowing how to use all of its features and accessories.

"Taking a few minutes to understand the different parts of your vacuum is going to be important because you don't want to damage your floor. For example, the beater bar, which is right here in the front of the sweeper, is actually not good for hard surface floors, nor is it good for the more gentle fabric in oriental rugs. In that situation, you want to use one of the other attachments," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

You should regularly empty canisters, replace bags and clean or replace filters on your vacuum, but after months or years of regular use, your machine may require some repair work. If you're losing suction or your beater bar isn't moving, you might want to have it checked out. Your main goal is to protect the motor from burning out and needing to get a brand new machine.

"One member, for example, had a broken vacuum cleaner and took it to the vacuum shop because it was making a smoking smell and found out it was a $1.50 repair and a five minute job," said Hicks.

If you are shopping for a new vacuum, the big question: bag or bagless?

"The biggest advice that I would have is get a vacuum that takes a bag that is the single most important thing. It helps protect the motor. Having that first layer of filtration is important. With a bag vacuum, you change the bag every two months or so depending on use… where with the bagless, you have to empty that cup every time you use it. It actually is more cost effective to use a bag machine," said Kurt Chavez, of Vacuum

With proper maintenance, a good vacuum should last as long as 10 to 20 years, so don't assume you need a new one just because it's old. Repairing instead of replacing could save you hundreds of dollars.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.