How long does a vacuum last? And how to extend the lifespan of yours

Don't be left hanging by a suddenly malfunctioning vacuum – here's how to make yours last

A blue and white vacuum cleaner on a cream living room rug, beside a cream couch and a small yellow side table
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vacuum cleaners can be a big investment, but they are essential nonetheless. As such, it is important to know how long a vacuum is expected to last and how to make it last longer to get a good return on your investment. 

Even the best vacuum cleaners can give in eventually – but it all depends on how you use it, how often you use it, and how and when you clean it, experts say. 

Here, appliance experts and electricians have weighed in to share their thoughts on how to extend the lifespan of a vacuum, and how long you can expect yours to last. 

How long does a vacuum last?

'As a rule of thumb, a vacuum cleaner, when looked after properly, will last an average of eight to 12 years, but this can be dependant on its usage, maintenance, build quality, and the floor types in your home,' explains Karina Toner, cleaning expert at Spekless Cleaning

Using a vacuum cleaner every day on carpets with the beater brush turned on, for instance, will wear it out quicker than using it twice a week on a lower-power setting on wooden floors. Understanding how often you should vacuum will help to reduce the load both on your appliance and your to-do list.

‘High-quality models looked after well can often exceed this estimate,’ Karina adds, 'especially if you select a vacuum cleaner that suits your specific needs and the
demands of your living space, considering the type of flooring and the frequency of use.'

A woman cleaning her carpet with a vacuum.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How can you make a vacuum last longer? 

Making a vacuum cleaner last longer usually comes down to good cleaning tips and practises, both for cleaning the vacuum and your home, Todd Saunders, floor care expert at FlooringStores, continues:

‘One of the most common vacuum cleaner mistakes people make that reduce their appliance’s lifespan is neglecting to clean out the dust cup,’ he begins. ‘Allowing the dust cup to overfill can lead to clogs in the motor and other inner workings, which dramatically shortens your vacuum's lifespan. It's also important to clean and/or replace the filters according to the manufacturer's instructions.’ This can also stop a vacuum cleaner from smelling, too. 

‘It is also important to keep the brush free of tangled hair or other materials will ensure it keeps properly rotating for as long as possible, which is especially important if you have pets in your home,’ he adds. To help avoid blockages. It also helps to know which things you should never vacuum to preserve the life of your appliance and your furnishings. 

Headshot of Todd Saunders, Chief Executive Officer at Broadlume
Todd Saunders

Todd is Chief Executive Officer at Broadlume, an all-in-one platform that provides Software for 3000+ local flooring retailers across the US. Broadlume's mission is to transform the way flooring is bought and sold around the world. 

How to store a vacuum to prolong it's lifespan

'Storage also plays a large part in the lifespan of your vacuum,' explains cleaning expert Karina Toner. Vacuum storage mistakes such as crushing the cable or leaving it to tangle, or leaving the battery of a cordless vacuum cleaner charging 24/7 will cause the components to wear out more quickly. 

'If you want to get a good return on your investment, you should also avoid stowing your vacuum in a humid or damp spot, or in areas that experience drastic temperature fluctuations, such as a garage or basement'. 

Karina Toner
Karina Toner

Karina is the Operations Manager at Spekless Cleaning, a trusted maid service based in Washington D.C. The team has over five years of experience providing top-quality cleaning services for both residential and commercial clients. Karina oversees every aspect of the business, ensuring that every client gets the same top-notch service and a spotless clean every time.

FAQs

How often should you replace a vacuum?

Vacuum cleaners do not have a strict expiry date, and should be replaced as and when they break or begin to continuously malfunction. You can expect this to be around eight years or more after buying your appliance.

Do all vacuums lose suction over time?

Vacuum cleaners do not naturally lose suction over time unless they have not been cleaned or maintained. If your vacuum is not picking things up like it used to, take the vacuum's main housing apart and ensure the dust bin and filter are completely clear, check the hose is free from obstructions, and the beater brush is free from hair and debris. If this doesn't resolve the issue, you may want to have the vacuum serviced to check for any other maintenance issues 


Usually, knowing when a vacuum needs replacing is obvious, with signs including a loss of suction, overheating, strange smells that do not go away with cleaning (especially a strong fishy smell, which could be a sign of an electrical fault), and regular malfunctions despite maintenance. More often than not, if the cost of repairs on your existing vacuum is more than 50% of the cost of a new replacement, it is usually more cost-efficient to replace the vacuum than to repair it, especially if the vacuum is older than five years old and is heavily used.  

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.