How Vacuum Cleaners Work ?

(Last Updated On: October 6, 2018 )

If our eyes were capable of viewing the microscopic world around us, surely we wouldn’t have enough will to live anymore. But thanks to our macroscopic viewing ability, we oversee the millions of dirt particles and debris and are only inspired to clean our houses by seeing the visible particles that often coat the open surfaces and float in the air. And when it comes to housekeeping and cleaning, no other machine has been as effective as a vacuum cleaner for more than a 100 years. Although invented by an engineer in the year 1901, in 2017, you don’t need to be one to know how vacuum cleaners work. So why not enrich your knowledge with this little piece of information?

Ever wondered how taking a sip of the drink using a straw renders the drink at your lips? You’re using the most basic form of the suction mechanism while creating a negative pressure at the top of the straw compared to that at the bottom. This ends up with a greater fluid presser at the bottom with the fluid tending to move to an area of lower pressure.

Now let’s focus on the suction mechanism in the vacuum cleaner where the mechanism has nothing to do with a vacuum but a very low pressure. Before moving on, let’s review some parts of the cleaner:

Read more about the Best Car Vacuum Cleaners here.

  • Intake Port
  • Exhaust Port
  • Electric Motor
  • Fan
  • HEPA Filter
  • Bag and other attachments

Now let’s see how vacuum cleaners work in details:

  • The electric motor is powered through electricity outlet. It is usually rated at 500-1000 watts.
  • The motor rotates a suction fan that is used to suck in the loosened dirt (usually done by roller brush attachments) through the intake port using the suction mechanism mentioned above.
  • With the turning of the fan blade, the air is forced toward the exhaust port while cooling the motor while passing by
  • Dirt is trapped in the semipermeable dirt bag that allows air particles and various other microscopic compounds to escape.
  • The air then passes through a cylinder shaped folded paper filter, usually HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting), to trap the remaining dust in the air.
  • The air is then vented out by the exhaustion port which is now safe to breathe by the occupants of the home. It is designed this way to maintain the pressure gradient which is the driving force this mechanism.

There are many types of vacuum cleaner nowadays, such as cyclonic or cylinder vacuum cleaner. But the main principle is to suck in dirty air, trap dust in a container, filter and release the exhausted air. Cyclonic vacuum cleaners often sort the type of dust in layers and instead of using the bag like the traditional vacuum cleaners, modern vacuum cleaners use transparent plastic bins that can become full. This eliminates the problem of half-filled bags being unable to remain in a working condition due to blocked surface that prevents it from venting out the air. Whatever the case be, implementing this simple mechanism of suction or negative pressure has allowed us to lead a cleaner and easier life that would not have been imaginable a little less than a century ago. The tube also plays an important role in the functionality of the vacuum cleaner. It sucks in the dust particles. So it's worthwhile to test the tube before buying a vacuum cleaner.

If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner for stairs or the ones that can be used to clean wet carpets then you might wanna take a look at the aforementioned links.

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