Why Is My Bissell Vacuum Blowing Air? [Solved]

This is a question that gets asked a lot and has several possible answers.

Bissell vacuums can blow air and dust due to an obstruction in the hose, dirty filters, a clogged vacuum head, a full canister/bag or a broken belt.

But whatever it is, it can be frustrating!

Let’s take a look at what can go wrong and how you can fix a Bissell vacuum that is blowing air.

Why is My Bissell Vacuum Blowing Air?

Your Bissell vacuum can blow air and dust if the head is clogged, the hose is obstructed or has a split, the filters need cleaning, the canister/bag is full, or the belt is broken.

For example, a clog of dust and hair in your hose is enough to cause dust and air to blow out. If this is the case, you can simply clean out the hose and/or nozzles with a brush or pipe cleaner.

Dirty filters can also reduce suction power and cause your vacuum cleaner to work harder than necessary.

But, let’s troubleshoot your Bissell vacuum cleaner to pinpoint the cause and try to fix it.

Troubleshooting Your Bissell Vacuum Blowing Air

When your Bissell vacuum is blowing air, the first step is to check the manual.

Bissell vacuum manuals have sections dedicated to troubleshooting specific issues.

If you are unable to find a solution in those sections, follow the steps below:

1. Unplug Your Bissell Vacuum

First and foremost, when troubleshooting your vacuum cleaner, it is important to unplug the cord.

This will help you avoid any electrical shocks.

2. Empty the Canister/Replace Bag

If your vacuum is having trouble sucking up dirt and dust and it is blowing it out instead, the canister might be full.

And if you have a Bissell vacuum that works with bags, then it might be time to change the bag with a new one.

3. Clean the Attachment Hoses

The best way to clean out the hose is by detaching it from the vacuum, cleaning out dirt and debris, and then reattaching everything back together.

Clogs can happen at the hose attachment point or in more central areas.

Use a long object to remove debris from the central areas of a clogged hose.

Shake the hose to knock loose any debris that may be stuck.

If all else fails, you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean out your Bissell vacuum cleaner’s hose, ensuring you rinse it and let it dry out completely before using it again!

4. Unclog Your Bissell Vacuum Head

A clogged vacuum head could be another reason for your Bissell vacuum cleaner blowing air.

To clean the vacuum head:

  1. Make sure the vacuum is turned off and unplugged
  2. Flip it over so that the bottom of the head is facing up
  3. Remove visible hair or dust to make room for airflow.

5. Clean Your Bissell Vacuum Filter

It’s important to keep your Bissell vacuum running at its best by cleaning the filters regularly.

The filters should be replaced monthly, but if they’re washable, you can rinse and reuse them.

Washable filters are more budget-friendly in the long run.

However, the HEPA filter can get clogged, which will cause problems with how well the vacuum sucks up dirt and debris.

If this happens, you’ll need to clean or replace the filter.

The filtration system can only be washed in warm water, but make sure to check whether your filter is labelled as “washable” before trying to clean it.

6. Replace The Belt

When a Bissell vacuum cleaner’s belt splits or cracks, it can cause the vacuum to lose suction and allow debris to blast back out of the machine while in operation. 

If you feel brave enough to replace a belt, unplug the vacuum cleaner (which you should have done already with the steps above), then flip it over so that the cleaning head belt cover can be removed for inspection. 

Inspect the belt inside the housing and replace it if it appears to be damaged, worn, or broken.

7. Test the Vacuum

You should test your Bissell vacuum after each of the 5 steps above to better understand what the exact issue is and whether any of the above fixes did the job.

Before you test your Bissell, make sure the vacuum is completely dry. A wet vacuum can result in an electric shock!

If your Bissell vacuum is still blowing air and dust, talk to Bissell directly.

Bissell vacuums come with a warranty, so if you bought your vacuum recently and it’s having issues contact the company.

If your Bissell is no longer under warranty, take it to a repair shop or consider buying a new one.



If you’re noticing that your Bissell vacuum is blowing air instead sucking dirt, it might be due to one of these things:

  • Clogged vacuum head
  • Dirty filter
  • Full bag/tank
  • Blocked hose
  • Broken belt

If the above tips do not solve the issue, make sure you contact Bissell and ask them to assist you.


  • Hey there, I’m Kevin, from Colorado! I have been passionate about repairing appliances and electronics for the past 18 years. Modern vacuum cleaners break or malfunction way too often, so I have decided to contribute to vacuupedia.net and help my online readers with anything related to vacuums repair. I can’t wait to help you get your vacuum cleaner working again!