The basic operation of a vacuum cleaner is rather easy to understand: the motor generates air flow and the brush placed on the ground directs the dust towards this flow of air, which leads them directly into space where they are trapped. However, this is not just about this: there are differences between a bag and bagless vacuum cleaners, filtration plays an important role in not allowing dust to escape, and the suction head also determines largely the overall operation. To see more clearly and better understand this device, here is how a vacuum cleaner works.
Collection of dust and filtration
Vacuum cleaners with a bag
Sack vacuum cleaners are the first to appear, and their technology is now rather old. If it has not changed much over time, it does not mean that these devices have not gained in efficiency: the engines are more efficient, the air flow more powerful and the bags more hygienic. One can speak about the synthetic bag: without the main defects of the paper bag, it is, for example, able to better retain the microparticles of dust, to prevent odors, or to adapt optimally to the dedicated compartment of the vacuum. It should also be noted that the brands have understood what displeased users and also offer bags with shutters, that is to say, which prevent suffering the famous cloud of dust when they are changed.
The vacuums with bags are generally conventional vacuums, canister vacuums said. However, professional and site vacuum cleaners, those with a tank, are sometimes equipped with bags. Indeed, to get rid of debris heavier than dust (wood, earth, plants, etc.), the bag is rather useful.
In detail, here is how a vacuum cleaner with a bag works :
- The engine, at the heart of the device, creates a flow of air that rotates continuously. This flow enters at the tip or the brush and comes out generally back, through the inside of the engine to cool.
- The airflow at the tip carries with it all the dust he finds on his way. These dust pass into the tube, or flexible, and arrive directly in the bag that will keep them captive.
- The bag consists of micro-perforations that can not stop the flow of air. However, to prevent too many microparticles from escaping with this flow, two filters are placed just before the engine and just before the exit.
- The first filter, the motor filter, capture larger particles so that they do not reach this motor so that it does not become clogged too quickly. While the second filter, the output filter, retains particles directly from the operation of the engine. The air coming out of the device is therefore healthy.
Bagless vacuum cleaners
More recent, bagless vacuum cleaners were invented by the brand Dyson, whose operating principle was then taken over and adapted by other manufacturers. If it has a better image than the vacuum with a bag is that it is considered more efficient and more convenient. Its suction power, which is based on the centrifugal force system, is better, and above all, as it collects dust in a collector tray that just empties once full, it avoids using “consumables And therefore does not require any additional expense. We can also note that many models of bagless vacuum cleaners offer to simply press a button to dump the dust sucked directly into the trash: there is no longer any contact with this dust.
There are several types of bagless if conventional, so-called vacuum sleds, also adopt this system, it is found primarily in brooms vacuum cleaners and hand vacuums and table, no bag adapting to perfectly small cleanings. Apart from the engine based on a cyclonic technology, the operation is generally the same as in a bag vacuum cleaner.
Here’s how a bagless vacuum cleaner works :
- The engine, at the heart of the device, creates a flow of air that rotates continuously. This flow enters at the tip or the brush and usually comes out at the back. But as a cyclonic or multi-cyclonic system creates it, it takes the form of a vortex instead of being a simple depression.
- As the vortex is more powerful and uses centrifugal force, the dust sucked by the nozzle slides along the hose to fall into the tray as the air passes through a first filter that holds the microparticles.
- After passing directly into the engine and before coming out of the device, the airflow passes through a second filter that captures the dust particles from the operation of the engine, so that they are not rejected in the engine. ‘air.
- For broom vacuum cleaners, the suction being vertical, it is slightly different. The airflow does not pass through the engine and the microparticles of dust do not come into contact with it. This allows, for example, some hand vacuums aspirate liquids (no risk of malfunction).
The filtration system
As we have just seen, whether we are talking about vacuuming with a bag or vacuuming without a bag, the filtration system is essential in operation. It is therefore important to know the filters, and especially to know that it is necessary to maintain them regularly (it can be a simple cleaning or a replacement). In addition to participating in the overall performance of the device, clean filters allow to keep a correct suction power and prevent the air released into the house is loaded microparticles. It is necessary to know that the engines have coals and that the filter of exit prevents small particles of coal escape, come to mingle with the flow of air which leaves the apparatus and alters the quality of the air in his interior.
If the frequency of this maintenance depends on the model, it is usually indicated on the product. It should be noted that more and more brands now offer vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters. They guarantee a better filtering quality of the airflow, and they are particularly recommended for people who are sensitive to allergens or suffering from asthma or breathing problems. The energy label of a vacuum cleaner also shows the ability of the model to hold the microparticles at the outlet of the flow:
- Called retention of the microparticles, it corresponds to the purity of the air which is rejected by the vacuum cleaner, and it is noted according to a scale going from A to G.
Suction power and other characteristics
Depression and airflow
For a vacuum cleaner to be effective and efficient, whether with or without a bag, its suction power must be sufficient to swallow all the dust. However, there are several types of floors in an interior, and it is easier to suck dust on a hard floor (such as parquet, tiles, PVC) than on the soft ground (carpet, carpet) where the latter can to be trapped in fibers. That’s why, to know the power of a vacuum cleaner, whatever the situation in which it is, two criteria are taken into account: the depression and the flow of air.
- Depression: It corresponds to the force exerted by the vacuum to lift the dust from the ground and bring it to the bag or bin. It is expressed in Pascal (kPa) kilos, and the higher it is, the stronger the vacuum cleaner. The standard vacuum of a vacuum cleaner is usually between 20 and 35 kPa and is ideal for vacuuming on hard floors. On the other hand, for good performance on the soft ground, this value must rise to 40 kPa.
- Air Flow: This is the amount of air that the vacuum cleaner circulates every second and the ability to bring the dust to the bag or drip tray. It is expressed in cubic decimetre per second (dm³ / s) and to be considered efficient; a vacuum cleaner must have an airflow of at least 36 dm³ / s. For good performance on the soft ground, however, this value must rise to 40 dm³ / s.
The best vacuum cleaners are those who manage to find a good compromise between vacuum and airflow (too much suction force can, for example, stick the head to the ground, which makes the use painful). This is called the useful power, expressed in watts, but it is generally not indicated by the manufacturers. (It should not be confused with the electrical power of the device, also expressed in watts and presented everywhere, but does not correspond to the actual power to use). The best is, therefore, to rely on the energy label that ranks the devices according to ratings ranging from A to G. And to better compare the good devices between them, we can specify that the A note now rises to A +++.
The suction head
This useful power that we just mentioned is also expressed via the suction head that the device has: it is, therefore, a key element in the operation of a vacuum cleaner and that is why it is important to know and know how she acts. For the airflow to pass correctly and the dust to be captured without difficulty, the brush must, for example, be of good quality, the hairs must be well distributed and the grooves allowing the air to penetrate must not be too wide.
Generally, brands equip their devices with a mixed suction head, that is to say, that can suck up both hard and soft floors. It respects the materials and does not damage the surfaces (especially for the parquet), but knows how to separate the fibers of a carpet or a carpet to suck in depth. Vacuums also sometimes have additional suction heads, which are positioned in place of the main one, and have a more specific function, such as the suction of hard floors or soft floors only, or motorized brushes that come more easily end animal hair or dirt-encrusted in the tissues.
Some suction heads are better designed than others: you can think of triangular heads that can easily suck in the corners or those with bristles on all sides of the brush, to capture more dust. But in all cases, as for energy power, the performance of this suction head are noted on the energy label:
- A first note, from A to G, evaluates the effectiveness on hard soils.
- A second note, also from A to G, evaluates the effectiveness on soft soils.
- And if the suction head of the device is not designed for one of the two floors, then it is easy to know: a cross indicates the lack of versatility.
Other technical characteristics
Finally, the operation of a vacuum cleaner also passes through various other technical characteristics, more or less important, such as sound level, the field of action, or small design details that make it easier and more enjoyable to use.
- Sound level: In operation, a vacuum cleaner generally emits between 72 dB and 84 dB. It should be noted, however, that the annoyance curve caused by the noise is not straight and that a few more decibels can cause much more discomfort. It is always better to choose a vacuum cleaner that makes the least noise possible, and moreover, more and more brands have understood by leaving ranges of devices called “silent.” It can also be said that vacuum cleaners with bags are often less noisy, the paper bag being a good insulator.
- The range of action: Calculated by adding the length of the power cord and the vacuum hose, it represents the space in which it is possible to use the device without having to unplug it to reconnect it elsewhere. Models with long cables are therefore more practical since they make it easier to clean large rooms. For battery-powered vacuum cleaners, this range of action depends more on the autonomy of this battery: the larger it will be, the more it will be possible to cover a large area before needing to recharge the device.
- Handling: This is about knowing the weight and the system of movement and transport of the vacuum cleaner. These are features that significantly influence the user experience: a rather lightweight device with well-designed wheels or wheels can easily follow movements. For transportation, if the weight also determines the ease of moving to the floor of a home, for example, vacuum cleaners with a handle to wear them are more functional.