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There are essentially 3 different kinds of vacuum cleaner belts. I will refer to them as: Geared, Grooved, and Smooth.
A geared vacuum belt has what appears to be teeth on the inside. This type of belt is usually found in canisters like Electrolux and Kenmore . This type of belt can last for years. Most people don't change this type of belt until it breaks, but it's a good idea to check it at least once a year for wear.
A grooved belt (the inside of the belt has grooves "engraved" on the inside of the vacuum cleaner belt). This belt can be found in some of the Simplicity Uprights. It is becoming more popular, but hardly commonplace at the moment. Like the geared belt, it doesn't stretch substantially and you should check it at least once a year for wear.
A smooth vacuum cleaner belt may be round or flat. Either way it is smooth on the inside. This type of belt should be replaced every 6 months to a year. It is important to change this type of belt to maintain the performance of your vacuum cleaner. Most of my customers treat a vacuum belt like a can of shaving cream. They keep using it until it just doesn't work any more. This is a mistake.
A smooth vacuum belt will stretch over time, which means your roller won't spin as often or possibly at all when it's on a carpeted surface. Your carpet pays the price for this, as sand, dust, dirt, and whatever else find it's way into your carpet remains in your carpet. Your carpet will not be as clean as it should be. It would make sense to buy a few belts at a vacuum cleaner part store and keep them tucked away in case one breaks or is due to be replaced.
Another benefit to changing the vacuum cleaner belt is the opportunity to clean the roller. This is a perfect time to remove everything that has wrapped itself around your roller. Cleaning a vacuum roller now might prevent your from having to buy a new one down the road.If you change the vacuum belt yourself, make sure the vacuum switch is off and UNPLUG THE VACUUM CLEANER. Changing a belt can range from being a very simple to an almost difficult task, depending on the vacuum. Changing a belt also demands a little bit of hand strength. If you aren't comfortable changing a belt in your vacuum cleaner, go to a local vacuum repair store. This service is usually inexpensive and really needs to be done as part of your vacuum cleaner maintenance.
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