I tend to use my vacuum cleaner pretty significantly.
And by significantly, I mean all the time. Because we have our two lovely furbabies who just happen to shed (a LOT!), I'm at least vacuuming the living room every day to every other day.
Keeping your vacuum cleaner well maintained (bag or canister emptied, cords maintained, spinner kept clean, etc.) is definitely part of the process. But- in our home- recognizing when to buy a new vacuum cleaner was also a big piece to keeping our home clean.
Let me preface with this- I buy cheap vacuums. While I'm a huge neat freak, the cost of something like a Dyson doesn't appeal to me. (Like the $750 vacuum in the picture below. Really??? Does it clean my floors by itself while making me a coffee and rubbing my back?) We typically buy vacuums that are around or under $100 each. And, surprisingly, they do last a lengthy period of time.
Our last vacuum was getting to be about at least 4 or 5 years old by the time it started to cease to work properly. However, even after I made sure everything on the vacuum was cleaned and working when it just ran over the dog hair instead of picking it up, I kept using it.
Finally, a few months later, I gave in and we went out and bought another vacuum. And the first time I cleaned the floors with the new vacuum, I was REALLY grossed out.
Because our vacuum hadn't been working properly for a few months, the canister on the new vacuum was full after just one room. It was really nasty to see everything that I hadn't been picking up when I thought I'd been cleaning the floors, especially since we have a very active toddler who loves playing on our soft floors!
It is really easy to become complacent and think that your vacuum is still working "pretty well" even after you see visible signs of it not picking up particles on your floor. But, really, it isn't.
If you've cared for your vacuum and made sure everything is clean and in working order, if it still doesn't work properly any more, don't hesitate to replace it!!!
How old is your current vacuum cleaner? What kind do you have?