Air-Flo Central Vacuum Parts - Maintenance

How is your Air-Flo central vacuum maintained? Generally, the only thing required is emptying the debris and cleaning or changing the filtration. Beyond that, there are some upkeep and preventative options given below.

Basic Maintenance for Air-Flo


Air-Flo Filtration Maintenance

Much like a regular portable vacuum, Air-Flo Central Vacuum filtration includes changing the filtration media on the main unit. To do this, remove the lid and lift up the paper bag and support cloth bag. Set the paper bag in the trash and put a new bag in its place, wrapping the elastic top around the support rim several times. Hint: after you remove the lid, turn the vacuum on using the toggle on the unit. This will keep the dust down as you remove the filtration.

All Air-Flo Central Vacs empty from the top and use HyperFlow Replacement Bags. Both the Air-Flo CFM2 and CFM3 units use the Hyperflow Part #720HF-5 Bags. There is also a Secondary Mesh Filter below the cloth bag, which should be removed and cleaned approximately every five years.

Because the filtration on the Air-Flo is identical to that of MD Vacuum units, you can use the MD Vacuum Unit Manual as a complete owner's manual for the Air-Flo Vacuum System. Your particular unit may not have the Rubber Bag Gasket that sits just above the filter bag. It is not necessary but is convenient, keeping the dirt off the edge of filter.

Reminder Emails Sent to Empty Your Air-Flo Vacuum

Air-Flo Filtration Empty Reminder

Sign up for Free Quarterly Email Reminders to remind you to dispose of your central vacuum debris. Operating your unit with a full filter can reduce suction, making the unit run hotter and clean less efficiently. Your email will not be used for any other purpose, or be sold or borrowed. We simply want to help you remember to keep your Air-Flo Central Vacuum working at its top performance.

(The image shown does not reflect all types of central vacuum filtration.)

Click Here to Start Your Reminders.


How a Vacuum Motor Works

All Air-Flo units used permanently sealed motors in their main collection unit. They require no lubrication or oiling. Routine maintenance for typical residential usage should include checking the motor brushes approximately every five years. While checking the motor brushes, make sure the center motor shaft is solid and has no play or wobble. If it does, the bearings are going out and the motor will need to be replaced. If the motor brushes are worn to 3/16 inch long, replace the motor brushes.

If the unit does not have any paper or cloth bag filtration, then a certain volume of debris may accumulate on the motor's internal fan blades. This is not easy to remove and any attempt to remove it has the high possibility of offsetting the balance of the fans. An imbalanced fan causes premature motor failure on the motor bearings.

Here are instructions for checking and replacing vacuum motor brushes. Motor brushes conduct electricity into the motor while touching the center shaft. Over time, they wear down. If they wear all the way down, they can damage the motor.

Click on the image above to understand how a vacuum motor works.

Motor Replacement

Air-Flo Vacuum Motor Replacement Help

You have a couple of options when it comes time to replace the motor on your Air-Flo Central Vacuum. Contact a local dealer for service, or consider doing it yourself. Motors on the Air-Flo vacuum have a few fasteners and wires that need to be unattached, then reattached on the new motor. It should take less than one hour to change your motor(s). Here is a quick "how-to" change your motor:

  1. Use the Air-Flo Motor Replacement Parts Chart to find the right replacement motor for your Air-Flo model. When your new motor arrives, take some photos of your original motor so you remember how it was wired and secured.
  2. Turn off the circuit breaker or unplug the central vacuum unit.
  3. Access the motor by releasing the outer housing (usually a few screws around the perimeter). Remove the motor and unclip the motor wires from the components.

    Note: Your new motor may not have the correct wire ends. If that is the case, we recommend cutting the wires from the old motor and wire nutting the new motor wire to the old motor wire. Using the original wire with the correct end to attach to the components makes your job a lot simpler and the connections safe and secure.

Note that a motor may have many numbers on it, but typically the complete motor number starts with "11" followed by 4 more numbers and maybe a dash with two more numbers (e.g. 115334-00). Years ago, they didn't put the complete part number on the motor.

For more information, see our detailed Air-Flo Motor Replacement Instructions.

Motor Brushes

Air-Flo Motor Brush Help

The Air-Flo motor has two carbon brushes in each motor that wear down but can be replaced before they damage the motor. Air-Flo motor brushes should be checked every five years in typical residential applications and should be replaced if the 3/4 inch-long solid carbon "brush" is worn down to anywhere near 3/16 inch. Here are instructions for Checking and replacing vacuum motor brushes. Motor brushes conduct electricity into the motor while touching the center shaft. To find the replacement motor brush for your Air-Flo Central Vacuum, type the motor replacement number (not brand model number) in the search box and the motor brush will come up in the search result; instructions are on the motor brush page.

Know that the Air-Flo motor may go bad for other reasons, such as bad bearings or dust build-up in the motor (both are not repairable). If your motor brush doesn't show up under your original motor model number, replace the motor, not the motor brush.


Air-Flo Circuit Board Replacement

All central vacuums have transitioned to an all-in-one control board. They no longer use (and rarely supply) replacement individual relays, transformers, and mini breakers. If your Air-Flo Central Vacuum needs a new relay, transformer, mini breaker, or even a new control board or circuit board, use one of these powerful, durable, cost-saving central vacuum circuit boards. The reality is, a central vacuum really only requires a motor and one circuit board. Some models have a couple of boards or fuses and multiple components that appear to be important, but they can usually all be removed and replaced with a single circuit board. It is not terribly difficult to retrofit a circuit board. An electrician can do it in under an hour.

To find the circuit board you need, verify the number of motors in your unit and the amperage requirements. Choose the correct board from one of these Durable Generic Circuit Boards made by the industry leading manufacturer. Or, use your model number and the Motor Replacement Parts Chart for Air-Flo to see our recommended circuit board. The most common board replacement for Air-Flo Central Vacuums is the Vacuum Motor Circuit Board for Single Motor Units 110 Volt. The board is strong yet generic, and may need to be retrofitted. There are other Generic Circuit Boards for units with different voltage and multiple motors. Print and use the large photograph of the board as the wiring guide.

Inlet & Pipe System Maintenance for Air-Flo
Air-Flo Inlet Help

Inlets can get worn out, lose contacts inside the hole, have a gasket or spring missing, and leak air. Parts are not available for central vacuum inlets; therefore, the entire inlet needs to be replaced. Good news is they are not expensive and it is not difficult to replace an inlet valve once you watch our How to Replace an Inlet Video for directions. New vacuum covers look fresh and function much better. New styles, colors, and designs are also available and are compatible. A trim cover is also available during checkout and is useful for covering the marks on the wall where the old inlet sat. Most inlets can be installed opening up or opening down. If you wish to have a different style or color, you can choose from a number inlet cover plates. Look for your inlet replacements here.

Air-Flo Vacuum Pipe Maintenance Sheets

The pipes in your system should last for the lifetime of your home if properly installed. If black carbon dust has gathered on the exterior of the pipes through static electricity, it can removed with a damp, soapy cloth.

We recommend cleaning out the interior of the piping system at least once per year. The most effective method is with Free Flow Central Vacuum Maintenance Sheets. They do a couple of things. As the sheets are pulled through the pipes, they push along all kinds of items that sit in dead spots, as well as deodorize the hose, pipes, and unit. Some amazing things can be pushed out from your Air-Flo Central Vacuum pipes, resulting in better suction. We have seen Match Box Cars, C02 cartridges, pencils, rocks, paper clips, and huge clumps of nasty debris.

Hose & Vacuum Head Maintenance for Air-Flo
Air-Flo Hose and Vacuum Head Help

Enjoy more years of maintenance free vacuuming by taking care of your equipment. The vacuum hose is an expensive part of the system but will last longer if it is stored on a hose hanger. Never store it attached to the vacuum wands, as it creates a stress fracture in the hose where it bends down from the wands. The best way to hang the hose is to create four or five loops on the floor before picking it up to be hung. It is not recommended to create more loops as this can cause more frustration trying to keep it on the hanger and unwinding it. Consider a Hose Cover to protect the hose and your baseboards and furniture. See if any of these Storage Items can help your situation. Consider hose hangers, wand hangers, hose straps and more. You can get everything off the floor for a more organized closet.

Your carpet brush also requires care. Take time to trim off long fibers and hair that have wrapped around the roller. The roller brush is a perfectly balanced part that spins incredibly fast. But when off balance, friction and vibration can create premature failure of the bearings and bushings. It is quite easy to check and clean your vacuum periodically.

Troubleshooting for Air-Flo
Air-Flo Vacuum Troubleshooting and Repair

Self diagnose your system using this Interactive Troubleshooting and Repair Solutions Guide for Air-Flo Central Vac. We guide you through a simple, methodical deduction of tests and symptoms to find the problematic source of anything from:

We then offer a description of the problem and solutions to repair your Air-Flo Central Vacuum. We also have 100s of local, independent dealers you can reach out to for help.

Visit the Troubleshooting and Repair Solutions Guide for Air-Flo Central Vacuum