Vacuum makes loud noise: what could it be?

In short: if a vacuum cleaner suddenly makes a lot more noise than usual, there is most likely a blockage. In many cases, the problem is solved when the vacuum cleaner is unblocked. Still a lot of noise? Then you probably need a new vacuum cleaner filter.

While you are vacuuming, your vacuum cleaner suddenly makes a lot of noise. Don't be scared! There can be several reasons why a vacuum cleaner suddenly makes a louder noise than normal. For example, a filter may be clogged or the dust bag needs to be replaced.

In this article I would like to help you further! Let's see why your vacuum cleaner makes a loud noise and how we can solve this (quickly).

Why does a vacuum cleaner sound louder than normal?

When a vacuum cleaner suddenly makes more noise than usual out of nowhere, something is wrong. Often it is a problem with the airflow: the vacuum cleaner parts do not connect properly or there is a blockage in your vacuum cleaner.

However, it can also be a defective part. For example, a part of the vacuum cleaner motor may be broken, which can cause a rattling sound. Different types of sounds that can suddenly be heard:

  • Ratteling noise
  • Beeping noise
  • Humming noise
  • Grinding noise
  • Scratching noise
  • Whistling noise

Occasionally, some may describe the noise as a shrieking or sighing sound. Regardless, it boils down to a loud, irritating noise. A vacuum cleaner can also sometimes be exceptionally loud on its own. Given the vast differences in noise levels, this is a significant aspect of our vacuum cleaner evaluations. Check out here the best quiet vacuum cleaners.

Common causes for a loud sound

The type of sound you can hear depends on the problem. If there is a blockage somewhere in your vacuum cleaner, there is a good chance that you will hear a squeaking sound, because the air can not pass properly. The most common causes at a glance:

  • A blockage in the vacuum cleaner (vacuum not sucking)
  • A full dust container
  • An old or dirty HEPA filter
  • A worn part
  • An air leak
  • A faulty vacuum cleaner motor (for example, a broken fan)

If there is a blockage somewhere in your vacuum cleaner, there is a good chance that you will hear a squeaking sound, because the air can not pass properly.

This is how you get the vacuum cleaner quieter again

Time to fix that annoying noise, because a vacuum cleaner makes enough noise itself! You can probably solve the loud noise problem yourself with the tips below.

  • Empty the dust container or replace the dust bag with a new one
  • Check the vacuum cleaner for blockages, view tips here if your vacuum hose is clogged
  • Clean the HEPA filter or replace it with a new one
  • Check the vacuum cleaner for air leakage and seal it with silicone tape if possible

When buying a new (HEPA) filter, it is very important to check whether it is suitable for your vacuum cleaner. In the overview below I will help you on your way.

Vacuum cleaner brandView filters
AEG vacuum cleanersView compatible filters
Philips vacuum cleanersView compatible filters
Bosch vacuum cleanersView compatible filters
Miele vacuum cleanersView compatible filters
Dyson vacuum cleanersView compatible filters
Numatic vacuum cleanersView compatible filters

Still a lot of noise?

Do the above tips not help and does your vacuum cleaner continue to make a loud noise? Then stop using the vacuum cleaner: there may be a defective part. Feel free to message me so I may be able to help troubleshoot the issue.

In summary: a vacuum cleaner can suddenly make a lot of noise, because there is a blockage in the vacuum cleaner. There may also be a worn filter and you should replace it with a new vacuum cleaner filter to solve the problem. Still a lot of noise? Then there is probably a motor problem.

Robbert Tigchelaar
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar has made testing vacuum cleaners his life's work. He has dedicated himself to conducting fully independent and valuable tests of vacuum cleaners to provide consumers with honest advice. His expertise in vacuum cleaners has been highlighted in The Washington Post and the Daily Express.

  1. Hey Robbert,
    My name is Nik. Hoping you can help me with a nearly brand new EUREKA NEU180 series vacuum that is making such a loud noise, it’s pretty much useless!! It sounds like a motorcycle revving up – so loud can’t really use it w/o going nuts (or driving the neighbors nuts!) Any ideas on what I can do? Appreciate any help / advice!!
    Thank you!

    • Hi Nik,

      It sounds like the motor blade blades are hitting something. Just to be sure: have you checked the entire vacuum cleaner for air blockages?

    • Hi Nick I have a small upright dirt devil. I was using it and a shoe string got caught. I immediately turned it off and pulled it out, but now it’s so loud..a shrill loud. Got any tips? I did all the obvious trouble shooting

      • Hi Judy,

        I’m sorry to hear that. The fans in the vacuum cleaner may have been broken by the shoelace (they may have jammed when the shoelace was vacuumed). I recommend that you first check the vacuum cleaner for any bits of lace (perhaps the ends?) to make sure it’s not causing the noise. If you’ve checked everything and the noise is still there, I recommend that you have it checked by a repair person.

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