Why Are Vacuums So Loud? The Science Behind the Noise

The world has changed, and technological advancement has made our home duties easier. Vacuum cleaners, for example, have made it easy to keep our homes clean!

While vacuum cleaners are naturally loud, due to the air pressure changes, motor, and vacuum's body vibrations, they can sometimes be annoying!

An unbearable vacuum cleaner sound signifies that your machine has one or all of the following issues:

  • Damaged or rusted brush bearings
  • Clogs in the filters and other components
  • Broken fans
  • Loose internal components or debris

This article discusses the cause of extremely loud vacuums, fixes, and a bonus (who to hire if your vacuum is faulty!)

Let's get started.

person in white shoes and jeans pushing around a noisy loud white vacuum cleaner

Why Are Vacuums Noisy?

It's normal for your vacuum to be noisy when in operation due to the following:

  • The motor
  • Constant air pressure changes
  • Constant machine vibration during operation

Vacuum Machine's Vibration

During cleaning, the vacuum vibrates due to air hitting different machine parts. These vibrations result in noise during cleaning.

Constant Air Pressure Changes

When collecting dust and debris, your vacuum cleaner's fan turns swiftly, resulting in changes in air pressure. The air coming out goes back to the cleaner through the suction, making your vacuum noisy.

Vacuum cleaners with high suction power have more noise than those with lower suction power.


Vacuum motors spin as they rotate the belt, making a loud noise. Vacuum cleaners with a DC motor are quieter than those using AC motors.

Why Is My Vacuum So Loud?

If your vacuum becomes abnormally loud, it could be faulty, and a professional needs to check on the following.

Clogged Components

Most home-use vacuum cleaners feature filters, with the regular one fitted near the canister/dust bag.

These vacuum filters collect dust, dirt, debris, and other contaminants. Over time, these contaminants block air passages, making the vacuum strain and work extra hard during cleaning, resulting in loud noise.

Learn how to clean vacuum filters and wash each type (washable and non-washable) correctly to avoid damaging them. Clean the filters often to get rid of loud, irritating vacuum sounds.

Broken or faulty filters also make vacuum cleaners unusually noisy, even when everything else is in order. It's time to change the filters if it's been a year since you replaced it, the vacuum is spitting stuff back out, or the vacuum has stopped sucking effectively. Replacing the filter restores the suction power and vacuum noise to normal levels.

Clogged hoses and full vacuum bags also significantly increase vacuum noise. A whistling sound could indicate that the hose is clogged or the bag is full. Regularly remove and empty the dust bag based on how often you vacuum your house.

Beads, coins, and other large particles often choke the hose, obstructing airflow. The vacuum produces a loud sound as the motor strains to push air through the hose.

During regular vacuum maintenance or when necessary, disconnect the hose and use a wire brush to clean it. Pass the brush through the hose to remove all clogs.

The vacuum brush rollers often get tangled when the bristles get full of debris, pet fur, long hairs, strings, and dust. This makes it difficult for the bristles to rotate effectively, making an irritating noise.

Loose Parts

Some parts could get loose due to improper fixing of parts after disassembling. If the disruptive noise started after disassembling and reassembling your vacuum cleaner, check if the fan, belt, handle, wheels, brush head, power cord, hose, and other components are loose.

Loose brushes on the roll strike the brush roll housing. Securely fasten them to stop the annoying sound.

You'll hear a grinding or rattling sound when the fan is loose. When the motor fan falls off, the fan rotates, hitting the casing and causing a loud noise. Adjust the motor fan.

Misalignments of components also make your vacuum excessively loud. For example, loose nuts and a compressed impeller make the vacuum excessively loud when colliding with the casing.

Correctly align the impeller and tighten the nut.

Blocked or Faulty Fan

A damaged or clogged fan makes an excessive, annoying sound. Inspect the fan by removing the housing concealing the engine and check if it's clogged or worn out.

Remove any fur, debris, dirt, dust, and other particles if clogged. Clogs cause the fan to strain and become loud. They also cause the fan to bend or wear out, increasing vibrations.

A poorly lubricated fan is also noisy and wears out over time.

Regularly clean and lubricate the fan to keep your vacuum less noisy. Replace it when needed and firmly fit it to ensure it's not loose to cause a rattling sound.

Faulty or Rusted Brush Bearings

When water gets into the brush bearings, they rust. Rusted or worn-out (broken) bearings result in excessive vibrations during cleaning, which causes loud vacuum noise.

Grease the brush bearings often to prevent rust. Replace rusted or worn-out bearings as soon as possible.

Depending on the type of your vacuum, you may have to replace the entire lower power head unit.

If you haven't done this before or don't have the required knowledge, hire a specialist to do the replacement for you.

Poor Height Setting

Choose the correct height settings for low-pile carpets and smooth floors. Wrong height settings cause the vacuum to be so loud due to increased airflow and brush rolls.

If you have a high-end machine, shut off the brushes when vacuum cleaning hardwood floors. Leaving the brushes on results in excessive noise and may sometimes damage your floor.

Proper height settings and turning off the brushes whenever necessary will reduce the vacuum sound.

upright white vacuum with dirty canister causing noise

What Is the Preventive Maintenance of a Vacuum?

Preventive maintenance of vacuums prevents excessive noise when operating. Firstly, turn off the vacuum and disconnect from the power source.

  • Empty the bags weekly or bi-weekly based on how frequently you vacuum
  • Remove and correctly clean the brush rolls, filters, brush bearings, and other components regularly
  • Replace loose belts and rusted parts
  • Firmly fit all parts when re-assembling your machine.


Can Vacuums Help a Baby Sleep?

The annoying vacuum sounds may help soothe your baby, making it easy for him to fall asleep! They're among the devices that make a white noise that helps to soothe some babies and pets.

Which Vacuums Are the Loudest?

Different vacuum models - Bissell, Oreck, Shark, robot, Dyson, and Kirby - feature different noise levels. Your vacuum is either silent (60 dB), normal (61 to 70 dB), loud (71 to 75 dB), or very loud (above 75 dB).

Dyson vacuums using a strong mode are the loudest, with a sound output exceeding 90 dB.

How Loud Are Robot Vacuums?

Robot vacuums vary; some are quieter, while others are too loud and can wake a sleeping baby or pet or get you into trouble with your neighbors.

Modern robot vacuum cleaners feature a noise level of approximately 50 to 70 dB (decibels), which is quieter and bearable. Some older models may feature a sound level of approximately 80 dB.

white robot vacuum being loud as it cleans a carpeted living area

Why Is My Robot Vacuum Cleaner So Loud?

Robot vacuums are different - they feature rubber extractors and bristle brushes to agitate and lift dust and dirt from different floors. Incorrectly installed or worn-out robot brushes result in excessive noise when cleaning.

Check the alignment of the robot brushes often and often clean them to prevent excessive noise. You can also buy a robot vacuum with noise-reduction features.

Cyclones get clogged when your vacuum becomes excessively dirty. If your vacuum has several small cyclones, disassemble and clean them.

Hire Zerorez® for a Professional Carpet Cleaning

Vacuuming regularly is great, but it's just not enough to achieve Insanely Clean Carpets®. Zerorez carpet cleaning has been lab-proven to remove the most dirt, extract the most moisture, and all without harming the carpet pile!

Let us reach what your vacuum just can't suck out. We leave carpets cleaner, for longer, too, as we don't leave soapy, shampooey residue behind!

Call Zerorez today for unmatched carpet cleaning services that last longer.

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez® Today!