How to Improve Your Vacuum's Suction

A vacuum's suction power is paramount to its performance. Over time, however, various factors can reduce this power, making your cleaning tasks less effective. This guide will offer you insights and tips on how to maintain and boost your vacuum's suction to ensure it works at its best.

1. Empty to bin regularly

The easiest tip to do, with the biggest impact: empty your vacuum's bin regularly. Most vacuums these days have a plastic bin which dirt is dumped into. Due to how the cyclone effect works inside the bin you'll actually notice a considerable drop in performance if your bin is full of dirt. The less in the bin, the better the suction will be.

Dyson V8 being emptied
Dyson V8 being emptied

Of course, emptying the bin regularly also prevents blockages and other build ups of dirt further up the vacuum system which will have an even larger impact.

2. Check and Clean the Filters

Many vacuums have multiple filters. These could be pre-motor, post-motor, or HEPA filters.

Wash or replace filters periodically. A clogged filter restricts airflow and can put undue strain on the motor.

Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions on cleaning or replacing filters. Many filters are reusable, such as those found on Dyson cordless vacuums, cleaning these are as simple as removing them from the vacuum and running under the tap for a few minutes. The more regularly you do this the better you'll find suction all round.

3. Examine the Hose

Detach the hose from the vacuum and inspect for blockages. You can use a long brush or straightened coat hanger to gently remove obstructions.

Check for holes or cracks in the hose. If there are any, it might be time to replace it.

Some vacuums, especially cordless ones, may not have a hose but the same practices can be used in connecting sections of the main vacuum body.

4. Clean the Brush Roll/Brush Head

Hair, threads, and other debris can wrap around the brush roll, hindering its rotation and thereby reducing suction.

Detach the brush roll and cut away any tangled materials.

Cut hairs on brush head to improve suction
Cut hairs on brush head to improve suction

Ensure the bearings at each end of the brush roll spin freely. If not, consider replacing the brush roll.

5. Ensure a Good Seal

Some vacuums have rubber seals or gaskets that create a tight seal between the machine's various parts. Inspect these seals and ensure they are not cracked or damaged.

A poor seal can reduce the vacuum's overall suction.

Some times you can notice a bad seal when vacuuming. If there appears to be dust 'leaking' out of any parts of the vacuum it's likely to be a bad seal.

6. Consider Upgrades

If your vacuum is older, its motor may be wearing out. Instead of replacing the entire unit, check if only the motor can be upgraded. Sometimes the battery is the cause, although more modern batteries shouldn't lose much suction power, but instead lose battery life as they age.

Some vacuums allow for the addition of enhanced attachments or brush heads designed for better suction.

7. Regular Maintenance

Like any machine, vacuums benefit from regular check-ups. Periodically inspect belts for wear, ensure screws are tight, and look for any parts that might need replacement.

If you're unsure about a particular component's state, consult the user manual or seek expert advice.

Again, regular parts to fail include seals, the battery and, eventually, the motor itself.

8. Evaluate the Surface Setting

Most modern vacuums come with settings for different surfaces, such as hardwood, carpet, or tile.

Ensure the setting matches the floor type. Using the wrong setting can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the suction.

Dyson's video shows what setting to use for each floor type, follow your own manufacturer's guidance

9. Consider Power Settings

Some vacuums have adjustable power settings. If your vacuum seems to have reduced suction, ensure it's set to the highest power mode.

10. Professional Servicing

Sometimes, the problems affecting suction may not be visible or easily diagnosable at home. If you've tried the above steps and still face issues, it might be worthwhile to get your vacuum checked by a professional.


Maintaining the suction power of your vacuum is essential for an effective cleaning experience. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you'll not only improve your vacuum's suction but also extend its lifespan. Always refer to your vacuum's user manual for specific maintenance instructions and stay ahead of potential issues for optimal performance.