Knowing when it's time to replace your vacuum

Do you remember the time you bought your vacuum cleaner? Was it a long time ago? In most cases, people don't buy a new vacuum unless the old one is broken beyond repair. As a result, most households have vacs that are about ten years old.

Still, knowing when it's time to replace your vacuum is critical because some units are unsuitable even if they're still working. Typically, vacuums show signs of dying that we often don’t pick up. In some cases, the damage is fixable while in others, it’s just quicker and simpler to replace the entire unit.

Below, you’ll discover some signs that you need a new vacuum. So, the next time you start vacuuming, pay close attention to whether your vac is showing any of these.



Some vacs show these signs for several reasons, and it doesn’t always have to mean that you should replace them. Sometimes, noise or a weird smell might come from clogging and nothing else.

Also, if your vacuum is still under warranty, you should contact the manufacturer first. The issue might not be as big after all, and maybe the warranty covers for it.

However, think about how much it would cost you to solve the problem at hand. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to buy a new vac than to try and fix the old one. It’s often less stressful and time-consuming as well.


1.      It’s not as powerful

Loss of suction is the most common and typical sign that your vacuum is beyond its good days. If you have to run the vac over the same spot a few times, it’s obvious that there’s a problem.

Still, maybe your vacuum was always like this, so try to remember whether it was powerful enough when it was brand new.

Also, this is often fixable because it may be caused by clogging or dirty filters. Make sure to examine all the hoses, poles, and attachments for clogging and to clean the filters according to the user manual.

Loss of suction might appear for several reasons that may or may not be fixable. Try to find the cause and a solution if you have a good handyman or if the unit is under warranty.

However, if it’s years old and not as strong as it used to be, it needs replacing because it weakened over the years of continuous use.


2.      There’s a burning smell

Any type of odd smell, especially a burning one, is always a reason to concern. It doesn’t always have to be alarming, but you should check nonetheless.

You might want to consider getting a new vacuum if your unit smells of burning plastic and it tends to turn itself off. This could come from a jammed rotor or wheels, so you should always inspect it.

Sometimes, it’s just hairs that are stuck and preventing some parts from rotating. You can fix this by cutting the hairs and untangling them.

However, if the smell continues, you should replace the entire unit before it catches on fire. You shouldn’t ignore this or signs of overheating because it could catch on fire or explode, which is extremely dangerous.


3.      It makes weird noises

All vacuums are noisy, but if you’ve had your unit for a long time, you’re probably well accustomed to the sound. This makes it easy to notice any difference in the noise it makes.

Don’t ignore this change because it may be your vac’s last cry for help. Whether it’s a high-pitched or a roaring sound, it’s a sign that the motor is dying.

In some cases, it can be fixed if you have a good handyman or if the unit is still under warranty. However, if it’s the same vacuum you had for years, it’s probably cheaper to buy an entirely new unit than trying to replace that one.

On average, vacuum cleaners have a lifespan of about 8-year if used accordingly. How old is the one you’re using?


4.      It exhausts dust instead of clean air

Sometimes, this may be due to dirty filters or clogging, so you should try to fix it first. Make sure to wash or replace all the filters as explained in the user manual before running the machine one more time.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to get a new vacuum. Filters in your vacuum need maintenance, but they can only last so much.

Most vacs come with reusable and washable filters, but even those need replacing once they start showing signs of wear and tear. Additional filters may be difficult to find, and without them, your vacuum can’t work correctly.

This is an issue that usually occurs with old vacuums because spare parts are tricky to find after so many years.


5.      It’s not the right for the job

Some vacuums are more versatile than others, but it’s a rare case that a vac can clean all surfaces. For this reason, your old vac might not be the best for your new floors.

Maybe its wheels are all rough and torn after many years of use and are now damaging your bare floors.

Whatever the reason may be, you’ll notice it right away as the process of cleaning becomes harder and longer to complete. Your vac might not be strong enough to pick up dust from thick carpets.

Maybe you recently got a pet that now shreds balls of hair, in which case you should get a vac that’s more suitable for the job.

If you moved into a tiny apartment, your old and bulky unit might be too tricky to use in tight areas. In this case, you’ll have to replace it even if it’s relatively new and otherwise working just fine.


6.      Maintenance is too complicated and costly

As we mentioned, some old models might be too difficult to fix due to their age. Most brands discontinued models after 15 years you’ve been using the same vacuum cleaner.

As a result, it’s now difficult to obtain spare parts or even find a handyman who would know how to fix it.

Finding filters, motors or pretty much any spare part for a vacuum that’s ten years old is now harder than ever. The technologies have evolved to a point we now have new vacs every few years. Since the market is growing all the time, even new vacs become old sooner than ever.

As a result, maintaining your old vacuum might be too complicated to be worth it. Finding, shipping, and paying someone to replace a motor on your old vac could cost you more than it would to buy a new unit.