A vacuum cleaner is a low-maintenance device, but keeping it in tip-top shape will help to prevent costly repairs or the need to buy a new one. When it comes to vacuums with bags upkeep is especially important, as a well-maintained vacuum will help to clean and filter dirt in your home better.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your bagged vacuums for an optimal cleaning experience with minimal maintenance and effort.

Don’t overload the bag
A vacuum bag that is filled to capacity is one that is too full to clean efficiently. With air passing through the vacuum, having an obstruction in the form of a full bag means that the machine needs to work harder, or it may not clean as efficiently as before. This translates into decreased suction power and an increase in energy use.

However, what constitutes a full bag may vary from vacuum to vacuum. In some vacuums, a bag that is only one-third to half-full may already have its cleaning efficiency compromised.

A tell-tale sign that your vacuum bag may be too full is the presence of leftover debris or fuzz, even after the vacuum has passed over the area several times. When checking the bag, look for an indicator line on the bag to determine if it’s too full to use.

Also, always use the correct bag type and size for your vacuum. After emptying or replacing the bag, ensure that it is properly secured in place with clips or holders.

Clean the brush roll
Locate the brush roll on your vacuum and clean it regularly. If it is full of hair, thread and debris, it will have to be cleaned thoroughly. A dirty brush roll stops removing hair from carpets, so use fingers or scissors to clean it out. It doesn’t need to be entirely spotless, but any hair or string wrapped around it should be removed.

Clean the filters
Many of the latest vacuums have HEPA filters that catch the smallest microbes for healthier air in your environment. These filters need to be regularly cleaned or replaced. Foam or plastic filters in vacuums just require a rinse, although you should ensure that it is completely dry before putting them back in the vacuum. If it is made of paper or fabric, try to shake or pound out the debris. If this is no longer possible, the filter needs to be replaced.

Clear the hoses
Ensure your vacuum hoses are free of obstructions. A clogged hose results in reduced suction power. Try using a stick or bent coat hanger to gently dislodge larger clumps, but be careful not to puncture the hose while doing so.

Elizabeth Png is the brand and consumer communications director for Electrolux Vietnam. She can be contacted at elizabeth.png-reade@electrolux.com