When to replace a vacuum – six signs it's time for an upgrade, according to experts

Whether your vacuum is exhibiting one or all of these signs, it may be a good idea to replace your vacuum for a more efficient cleaning routine

Living room
(Image credit: Laskasas)

When to replace a vacuum depends on a few factors, each of which will negatively impact how easy your vacuum is to use and should indicate the machine is coming to the end of its life.

Vacuums are an essential household tool that ensures your home remains dust-free and fresh. But like all appliances, their efficiency can diminish over time, so you will need to look for signs of wear and tear to know when it will need replacing.

Our experts have explained the key indicators that your vacuum will need to be replaced. When the time comes, you can check out our guide for the best vacuums.

When to replace a vacuum

Dyson Ball Animal 2 vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Dyson)

Whether you use a handheld vacuum, upright vacuum, or one specifically for pet hair, there is nothing more frustrating than a vacuum that doesn't lift all debris and dander or is even counterproductive to your cleaning. Therefore, it's important to keep an eye out for the signs that suggest you would be better off investing in a new model. 

1. Age and frequency of use

'The average lifespan of a medium-range vacuum is usually around 6 to 8 years, depending on the brand and how often you vacuum,' explains Fantastic Services' appliance technician David Miloshev.

'After 4 years of using the same appliance, you may be able to repair it and replace some parts, but if you experience some major faults, such as a broken switch or a burnt-out motor, it’ll be easier to switch to a new vacuum cleaner.

'Once a vacuum cleaner is more than 3 or 4 years old, repairs and replacements can cost as much as a whole new machine, especially if the model you have is cheaper.'

2. Overheating

'Overheating might be a sign that the motor is not working well, making it difficult to collect dirt and debris,' explains engineering expert, Brandon Fowler, owner of Machinist Guides

'If the problem of overheating persists, turn off the vacuum immediately to avoid health risks and start the process of replacing the vacuum machine.'

Brandon Fowler
Brandon Fowler

As a student and employee of optics manufacturing for over 20 years, Brandon created Machinist Guides to assist others by providing numerous comprehensive guides on G codes and M codes, which are frequently used in CNC machining. Machinist Guides is a resource website dedicated to the field of CNC machining. 

Brandon's website also offers complete CNC code lists and provides tips and tricks to prevent machine crashes. Backed by his decades of business experience, Brandon is an expert in management, technology, engineering, and all things optic manufacturing.

3. Loss of suction

'If your vacuum is no longer picking up dirt and debris as effectively as it used to, it may be losing suction power,' says Dave Roebel of Northeast Mechanical Services.

'This could be due to a clogged filter, worn-out brush roll, or a damaged motor. If cleaning or replacing these components doesn't improve the suction, it may be time for a new vacuum.'

4. Strange odors

If you're wondering how to stop your vacuum cleaner from smelling, the solution may be to replace it.

Dave Roebel advises, 'If your vacuum emits unusual or unpleasant odors, even after cleaning or replacing the filter, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Lingering odors may indicate a buildup of dirt, mold, or bacteria in the vacuum's internal components. 

'In such cases, it's often more cost-effective to replace the vacuum.'

5. Excessive noise

'If your vacuum has become significantly louder than usual or is making strange noises, it could be a sign of a mechanical issue,' suggests Dave Roebel. 'This could be caused by a worn-out motor, damaged bearings, or loose parts.

'While some noise is normal, excessive or unusual noise may indicate that the vacuum is nearing the end of its lifespan.'

6. Difficulty replacing parts

If your vacuum cleaner has become outdated, meaning you can't fix smaller issues by finding new parts to replace broken ones, or you need an upgrade to improve your cleaning efficiency, you should replace your vacuum.

David Miloshev says, 'Older vacuum models will be more challenging to find replacement parts for. If your vacuum is no longer supported by the manufacturer, obtaining spare parts can become difficult or even impossible.

'Advancements in vacuum cleaner technology nowadays happen regularly. Newer models may offer improved features, such as better filtration, enhanced suction power, or energy efficiency and, if your vacuum lacks these features, a replacement will be very beneficial.'

Hoover ONEPWR Pet Max | Was $309.99, now $155.99 at Amazon
Best vacuum deal

Hoover ONEPWR Pet Max | Was $309.99, now $155.99 at Amazon
This is a great saving on an already cheap vacuum. There are better vacuums out there, but not at this price. If you need a decent vacuum ASAP, I recommend investing.


What is the best kind of vacuum for those with allergies?

You can find certain vacuums that can improve allergies by filtering out allergens, making these the ideal models for those with allergies. 

Fantastic Services' appliance technician David Miloshev advises, 'If you or your family members have developed allergies or respiratory issues, upgrading to a vacuum with a better filtration system, such as a HEPA filter, will be necessary for improved air quality.'

We've listed our top pick, below.

Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum | $429.99 at Shark

Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum | $429.99 at Shark
This corded upright vacuum is another of H&G's favorites, and is perfect for picking up dust and hair embedded deep into carpets.
H&G's Shark Stratos upright vacuum review has more details. 

If your vacuum no longer meets the cleaning requirements of your home, say you've moved to a larger space, have new flooring types, or have a new short-haired pet, upgrading to a more suitable model will make weekly cleaning routines run more smoothly.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.