Last week I talked about knowing when you need to change the belts on your vacuum cleaner. This week I want to talk a little bit about changing the filters.
Bagged Vacuum Cleaners
If your vacuum cleaner uses paper bags, congratulations! In my opinion, the paper-bagged vacuum cleaners are still far superior to any bag-less vacuum out there on the market. Typically the paper bagged based vacuum cleaners have higher airflow, and less dust output than the bag-less varieties.
Of course, this is assuming that you change the paper bags when you are supposed too, and are using a high quality bag. Notice I did not say genuine. There are plenty of very good after-market brands of vacuum cleaner bags that perform just as well; if not better, than the original genuine bags. What I would caution you against is purchasing the typical brands that are sold through your local grocery or convenience store. These stores really do not have any interest in providing a high quality product to you. That is not to say that if you purchased the genuine bags from them that those bags would not be good, you just do not want to buy the non-genuine bags from these types of stores. Stick with the bags you can purchase from us or any of your local mom-and-pop vacuum cleaner repair shops.
As far as when to know when it is time to change the bag, the real key here, is to change the bag not when it is full, but when it is somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 full. One of the main reasons why the paper bags in modern vacuum cleaners are smaller than the bags the older vacuum cleaners use is filtering. If the goal is to eliminate as much dust as possible from reentering your house when you vacuum, it stands to reason that forcing you to change it a little more often will reduce the amount of dust that could leak through the bag wall.
One other note, don’t always believe a company that advertises that their bag or vacuum cleaner traps 99% of the dust. Your vacuum cleaner might say HEPA filter or that it traps 99.9% of the dust, but unless they advertise the filter or vacuum cleaner traps 99.9% of the dust @ .3m I would not trust them. The key here is to see the 99.9% AND @ .3m in the same sentence.
Bagless Vacuum Cleaners
If you have a bagless vacuum, you already enjoy the convience of not having to have bags on hand. Don't let that make you think you got off easy here though. If you read your manual you will see that most brands recommend changing those filters every 3-6 months. If you intend on keeping your vacuum cleaner for more that 3 or 4 years, you would be smart to change those filters when the manufacture tells you to.
Look at it this way. The manufacture wins either way. Either you spend money on filters, or you spend money on replacing your vacuum cleaner - usually a lot more often than you really want to.
Gone are the days where you could buy a vacuum cleaner for $150 and have it last for 15 or 20 years. Most vacuum cleaners in the $150-$200 range will only last 2-3 years! The usual reason? The filters get saturated and don't let air get into the motor to cool the motor.
The key here? If you have a bagless vacuum cleaner, change the filters when the manufactures tells you to do it. Mark your calender or write the date on the filters and try to remember to check them.
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