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  1. Your upright vacuum is only as good as its belt. Period.  If the belt is worn and sloppy, so is the job.  Belts should be replaced every 6 months with normal usage, and at least once a year because, even unused, they stretch over time.
  1. Store a spare belt on the bag holder or handle of your upright vacuum.  These belts are strong and stiff. Unless you have strong hands, have a vacuum professional show you the safest way to install it or do yours for you.
  1. Matching the height setting to your carpet directly affects cleaning.  When agitation, airflow and brush height are out of balance, cleaning suffers and excess wear or damage to both carpet and the machine frequently results. If in doubt, ask a knowledgeable vacuum professional where and how yours should be set – or ask the clerk at your variety store -- see if he even knows.
  1. If your vacuum stinks when you use it, so does the job it is doing. You may damage both the machine and the carpet.  If you smell, feel or taste dust, something’s wrong.  It could be a broken hose, seal, bag, or other part.  Or a combination.
  1. Some bags work better than others.  Learn the differences.  Overfilled bags don’t work at all.
  1. Too much noise or vibration is a bad thing.
  1. When you feel the brush stop, because it is too close to the carpet, clogged, or jammed, stop the machine.

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