How to Change Central Vacuum Bags

A central vacuum system.

Central vacuum systems not only do away with the problem of moving a vacuum cleaner from room to room, they also reduce the number of times cleaner bags need to be changed. Most central vacuum bags only need to be changed twice a year.

Step 1 - Remove Cover

Remove the top cover of your central vacuum cylinder unit. The cover will probably simply sit on top of the cylinder with no fasteners – relying on weight to hold it in place.

Step 2 - Remove the Seal

When you look into the cylinder you will notice a rubber seal around the top of the paper bag. Simply pull this seal free and place it to one side.

Step 3 - Remove the Bag

You should now see a tag or a loop protruding above the paper bag. Pull this tab or loop and the bag will come away. The tab or loop is connected to the cloth bag that supports the paper bag so you will be lifting both bags. Remove the bags completely by lifting them straight up and out of the unit.

Step 4 - Separate the Bags

The paper bag inside the cloth bag is held in place by an elastic neck folded over the rigid frame in the neck of the cloth bag. Carefully pull and gather the neck of the paper bag. Tie it so that you don’t have dirt coming from the bag as you move it. Lift the paper bag by the neck and, if necessary, pull the cloth bag down from around it.

Step 5 - Shake the Cloth Bag

Take the cloth bag outside and shake it vigorously to remove any loose dust particles.

Step 6 - Clean the Filters

At the bottom of the built-in vacuum cylinder there will be a number of filters. Remove these filters taking care to remember the order in which they were installed and the orientation. Identify the top of the filter by the presence or lack of a weave pattern, depending upon make and model. The filters simply need to be shaken and patted gently to be cleaned.

Step 7 - Replace the Filters

The filters are replaced into the cylinder in the reverse order but the same way up as they were removed.

Step 8 - Put New Bag into Cloth Bag

The new paper bag is pushed into the cloth bag and the elastic neck is pulled down the outside of the cloth bag to fit under the hard frame at the top.

Step 9 - Replace the Bags

Let the bags fall inside the cylinder and open up the paper bag to ensure a good flow of air through it. The top of the bags will be resting on a ridge in the cylinder so they will only go in as far as is necessary. Make sure that the tab or loop of the cloth bag is left sticking up.

Step 10 - Replace the Seal

The seal fits back around the top of the bags and is pressed home as firmly as possible.