- Compare vacuums before you buy one; the vacuum you choose is the vacuum you'll be stuffing with replacement bags once a month for the next 15 years. Considering the cost of the make and model's replacement bag may help you figure out the long-term expense of a particular vacuum. Also, bagless models keep you from ever having to change those dusty bags.
- Know the pros and cons of canisters versus uprights. Canisters can be a bit more awkward to work with at first, but they're lightweight, easy to maneuver under furniture and better for allergy sufferers. Uprights are heavier and usually don't have as many attachments as canisters.
- Change your vacuum bag about once a month if you vacuum weekly. If you vacuum more frequently, you'll probably need to change the bag sooner, especially if you have pets or new carpeting. A bag that's 50 to 60 percent full is ready to be changed. Some models have an light to indicate when it's time to change the bag; otherwise consider the frequency and amount of space you vacuum regularly.
- Find the right bag for your vacuum. If you aren't certain which bag belongs to your vacuum cleaner, check online. There are many retailers who sell bags and offer descriptions.
- Get rid of an old vacuum bag by opening up the top or side of your vacuum cleaner. Slide the bag toward you, being careful to keep the opening pointed up at all times. Discard the bag.
- Take a fresh vacuum bag and match the opening in the bag to the internal end of your vacuum hose. Some bags need to be tucked in. Others fit in as they are. Close the vacuum panel and start cleaning.
- If anyone in your household has asthma or allergies, try buying HEPA bags for your canister vacuum to cut down on pollutants.
- Buy a few sets of bags at a time. You don't want to have to keep running to the store or ordering online every 3 to 5 months. Order a few packs to keep on hand to save in shipping costs.