Why Is My Bissell Vacuum Blowing Air? [SOLVED]

Remember when your brand new Bissell vacuum used to make you all excited about cleaning?

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Over time, though, vacuums can begin to malfunction, making it hard to stay motivated and clean regularly.

For example, many people report issues with their Bissell vacuum blowing air, which can be extremely frustrating.

Let’s take a quick look at how you can fix this issue πŸ™‚

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 tear, the filters need cleaning or changing, the dirt container/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 Dirt Container/Replace Bag

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

And if you have a Bissell vacuum that works with bags, such as the Bissell PowerForce 3522, then it might be time to replace the old 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 form at the hose attachment point or in more central areas.

If the latter occurs, use a long object to remove debris from the central areas of the hose.

Then, 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 every 1-3 months, depending on how often you use the machine.

Check the user manual to ensure your Bissell vacuum filters are washable.

Follow the steps below to wash your Bissell vacuum filter:

  1. Remove both the pre-motor and post-motor filters from your vacuum
  2. Fill in your sink with warm water and a mild detergent
  3. Wash both filters
  4. Let the filters air dry completely before placing them back in the machine

In addition, Bissell recommends to replace both pre-motor and post-motor filters every 3-6 months.

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. 

Replacing the belt is easy:

  1. Check the user manual to find out exactly what type of belt you need
  2. Order a new belt
  3. Lay your Bissell vacuum cleaner on the floor
  4. Flip it over so that the cleaning head belt cover can be removed
  5. Remove any screws that keep the cover in place
  6. Remove the brush roller and belt
  7. Replace the belt with the new one
  8. Re-assemble the machine

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 and they will be able to help.

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


To recap:

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.